The 1,691 study individuals were then separated into three groups based on how well they stuck to such a diet over the past 12 months. Based on the quantity of each nutrient present in the food consumed, the researchers observed that a particular diet emerged to be protective against AD.
This diet was found to be rich in fish, green vegetables, sea food, poultry and fruits. On the other hand, foods that were high in meat and saturated fats appeared to be high risk diets.
The researchers then followed the 1,691 individuals for the next four years. They observed that 211 individuals developed some degree of dementia and were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Results showed that individuals sticking to the fruit and nut diet were 38 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's four years later than those who consumed the meat and saturated fat diet.
The data did adjust for a variety of variable factors that could potentially elucidate the relationship, including age, smoker or not, degree of exercise, weight and number of calories consumed on a daily basis.
This study is not much different from a recent study on the Mediterranean diet and Alzheimer’s disease. It is now being appreciated that both diet and lifestyle changes may have a preventive role in AD.
However, because the study was limited to 4 years, it is not known for how long this diet is protective against AD. The other question that remains to be answered is if such a diet is started at a young age, can it completely prevent AD? Perhaps more studies are required to answer these questions.
Whether or not this diet turns out to decrease or prevent AD, it is nevertheless a healthy diet to follow. Besides AD, such diets can also help decrease risk factors for stroke and heart disease.
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