Eating a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables and olive oil and includes little red meat, is associated with a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. This was true even for people who have heart disease and diabetes. Italians are known for living to an old age, and this may be the reason why.

The Mediterranean diet consists of high amounts of fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals and fish, mild to moderate amounts of alcohol and low amounts of red meat and dairy products. This diet has been associated with a lower risk of cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, problems with processing glucose that may lead to diabetes, coronary heart disease and overall death.

When researcher Nikolaos Scarmeas studied almost 2,000 patients with an average age of around 76?almost 200 of whom already had signs of Alzheimer’s?he found that the people who ate a Mediterranean diet scored the best on brain function tests.

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