The MIND Diet Review

This diet has been receiving a lot of buzz lately, and we wanted to find out why. While many diets on the market today are set on giving their customers a number to hit, “You will lose 10,15,20 pounds!”* this diet does not take that route. The main idea behind the MIND diet is to help people dramatically reduce their risk for Alzheimer’s disease and potentially lose a few pounds in the process. The idea of the diet was created by Martha Clare Morris, who is a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center.

In a recent study done by the Public Medical group, this diet has been proven to help a person reduce their chance of contracting the horrible memory related disease by 53% for those who follow it to the tee, and around 35% for those who moderately follow it. Around 1,000 patients were studied ages 58-98 years of age for around 5 years while partaking in this hybrid Mediterranean style diet program and found that the diet significantly decreased their risk for AD (Alzheimer’s Disease).

 The MIND Diet man with alzheimer’s diseaseThe MIND Diet Facts

What does MIND stand for? It stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet. Whoa! I originally thought this diet just had to do with keeping your “mind” healthy by keeping your brain healthy thus fighting off AD. It truly does go deeper than that. So what foods are allowed on the MIND diet? You will be allowed to eat leafy greens, nuts, berries, vegetables, beans, whole grains, wine, olive oil, poultry, and fish. You will watch your intake of fried foods, fast foods, pastries, sweets, cheese, margarine, and red meat.

You are encouraged to snack on nuts, cook with olive oil, fill up on fish at least once a week, and consume poultry and berries at least twice a week. Stuck on red meat? You can still have it, but you should aim to cut it down to at least 4 servings per week. There are no caloric restrictions on this program, but you will be encouraged to follow the foods that are highlighted above to the best of your ability.

The MIND Diet nutsWhat’s The Word?

This is not your typical diet program you order or purchase in the store and follow. You are not given any recipes, menu plans, guidelines, or many rules outside of what was stated above. This diet is more or less a guide to incorporating healthy foods into your daily diet regime, and nothing more. The original idea of this “diet” was not to lose weight but to stave off dementia and nurse the health of your brain back to its fullest potential. There are many cookbooks that have been created in correlation to the ideas of this diet, and there are some reviews of those books below.

Ann* said, “This is a great cookbook. It is a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet. The author claims it is a scientific approach for enhancing brain function and helping to prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This book will help me prepare healthier brain food for my family. Each recipe has: MIND foods, yield, time, difficulty and nutritional values. They are very easy to follow and ingredients are easy to find.”

Wendy* said, “This cookbook is full of delicious recipes that are focused on improving brain function, however they're healthy in every respect.” She also went onto say that these recipes will not suffice for everyone, but that they are going to be filled with healthy brain food regardless.

Zaabaa* had a great appreciation for the ideas in the book saying, “This is a well-thought out recipe / diet book which does a great job of combining scientific research with delicious recipes. The selling point of this book, or what sets it apart from other diet books, is that it is geared towards preventing two terrible diseases of the mind; dementia and Alzheimer's.”

 What Does The MIND Diet Offer?

The MIND Diet scienceThis diet does not offer much to the participant other than it's facts, research, and ideas behind why this way of eating will benefit your brain in the long run. The founder of the diet Martha Morris does not expand on her diet with cookbooks or eating programs, and instead leaves it up to other people who wanted more. There are quality cookbooks out there, referenced above which are written by certified nutritionists who really understand the foundation of the MIND diet, so there are options out there today. The program is free of charge, backed by science, and it is long-term user friendly.

ProsCons
  • Free of Charge
  • Backed By Science
  • Not Restrictive
  • No meal plans or guides given
  • Not structured for weight loss

Is The MIND Diet Worth A Try?

I would say that yes, this particular diet would be worth a try and it won’t harm you whatsoever. It is not geared towards weight loss, but you might lose a few pounds in the process of cleaning up your diet. There are positives when following a program like this, because the changes are not severe which means they are easier to follow long term, which will have you on your way to better health. AD, and Dementia are life threatening illnesses that affect the person with the disease as well as their friends and loved ones equally. They are nasty diseases that are ruthless and brutal to those involved, so this diet pulls at my heartstrings for those reasons alone. The ideas and proof that the higher fat diets give the brain a rejuvenated life are real, and worth paying attention to.

*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary

Review Sources

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*Individual results will vary.