Do you think diet doesn't matter when it comes to developing cognitive impairment? Think that the Mediterranean diet is great for everyone? Wait until you see the results of this new study just published in the journal Neurology. You just might be surprised.
Researchers at the Department of Neurology at the University of Athens in Greece were looking to find a connection between eating a Mediterranean diet and cognitive function. So they looked at a group of 17,478 men and women. This was not necessarily a healthy group. Some of them had diabetes. The only health criterion that the researchers demanded was that none of them had a history of stroke, and that all of them tested normal for cognitive function.
For the next four to five years, the researchers tested the participants every year for cognitive function and how close their diets were to the typical Mediterranean diet. They rated the diets on a 1-9 scale with 9 being an exact Mediterranean diet and 1 being a diet that was in no way close to a Mediterranean diet.
At the end of the follow up period, 1,248 (7%) of them tested out poorly enough to be diagnosed as having developed some degree of cognitive impairment. Then the researchers compared the likelihood of developing cognitive impairment to the diets the men and women were eating.
For those who did not have diabetes the risk of developing cognitive decline was reduced by 19% when their diet was closest to a Mediterranean diet. This was true regardless of other risk factors like where they lived, depressive symptoms, environmental factors, vascular risk factors, and their overall health status. But here's where it gets interesting.
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The Mediterranean diet had a completely different effect on the men and women who had diabetes. The diet did not result in a decreased chance of getting cognitive impairment in this group. In fact, it did just the opposite. In diabetics, the diet increased the risk by 27%!
So let's get this straight. The same diet very significantly protected brain function in one group of people and very significantly made it worse in another group. This is why I find it so preposterous when people come out with some diet that is supposed to be great for everyone.
I don't care whether we are talking about a vegan diet, a vegetarian diet, a Paleo diet, a food combination diet, or whatever. Hippocrates wrote 450 years before Christ was born that, "One man's food is another man's poison." It is impossible to come up with a one-size-fits-all diet for everyone. The best diet is the one that works best for you. And you can best determine that by how you feel, Bio-Energy Testing, and your blood A1c and triglyceride levels. The healthiest diet will be the one that makes you feel great, causes your body to burn fat with a greater than 90% efficiency, keeps your A1c below 5.0%, and your triglycerides below 100.
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