Since there is no known cure for cognitive decline, prevention and deceleration of this condition are an important area of research. Most people’s diets change from time to time, so researchers wanted to study how these changes aﬀect cognition. In a study of over 2000 Swedish older adults at least 60 years old, eating a “Western diet” (lots of reﬁned or processed foods, red meats, high fat dairy products, saturated/trans fats, and sugar) was associated with more cognitive decline, whereas eating a more “prudent” diet (a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, rice/pasta, legumes, nuts, ﬁsh, and low-fat dairy products) was associated with a deceleration of cognitive decline. However, the most fascinating ﬁnding is that every little bit helps. More frequent intake of foods from the “prudent” diet might weaken the negative cognitive eﬀects associated with the Western diet, even if you’re unable to change all your habits.
Alzheimers and Dementia. 2016 Feb;12(2):100-9. (Shakersain B, et al.)