So what should the average individual eat?
The above study has important implications for not only airline pilots, truck drivers, military personnel but also for patients with dementia. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other related dementias carry a high morbidity, and have a significant impact on families and care givers. As of today, no drug has made any impact on either prevention or treatment of the various dementias.
The question that remains to be answered is whether such diets can help improve cognition in patients with AD. Even though the study was done in pilots, preliminary results indicate that such a diet may also be applicable in individuals with dementia. At the moment, the data are preliminary and one does not have to eat a high carb diet or a high fat diet all the time. It is well known that the brain’s primary source of energy is glucose and a high carbohydrate diet does supply adequate sugar. However, with the obesity epidemic in society, one certainly cannot over indulge on a high carbohydrate diet.
The role of diet and its role in improvement of cognition and mental function has only now been appreciated. To improve long-term mental cognition, the answer may be more in the diet than consuming pills with unknown chemicals. However, a few more studies are needed to understand the complete role of nutrition and its impact on the brain. The take home message is that all individuals should eat at a well-balanced diet that has a lot of carbohydrates and a reasonable amount of fat. Moreover, one should not forget to exercise and stop smoking at the same time.