Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, Senior Nutritionist
The research about how food can protect our heart continues to improve and expand. Even better, the focus is also on eating foods we also really enjoy – this is not the “don’t eat that” diet of yore, but one that is much more inclusive and enticing.
The DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet both show great benefit for those preventing heart disease and managing a current diagnosis of high blood pressure or high cholesterol. The researchers have broadened the scope again, and found that those who ate key foods from both guidelines could also significantly reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. They now call this guideline the MIND diet. It features regular intake of:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Other vegetables
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
It limits these groups
- Red meats
- Butter and stick margarine
- Pastries and sweets
- Fried or fast food
The MIND diet includes at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable every day — along with a glass of wine. It also involves snacking most days on nuts and eating beans every other day or so, poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week. Dieters must limit eating the designated unhealthy foods, especially butter (less than 1 tablespoon a day), cheese, and fried or fast food (less than a serving a week for any of the three), to have a real shot at avoiding the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s, according to the study.
Use the NuVal Nutrition Scores throughout the store and you will find high scoring foods are the ones that all of these guidelines are based on. We make it easy to connect your healthy heart and mind goals to the foods and habits that will benefit them the most!