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Baby Boomers, Meet the Mediterranean Diet

By HERWriter
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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

Baby boomers, take note, the Journal of the American Medical Association cited the Mediterranean diet as being a way of eating that can decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease by as much as 32 - 40 percent.

We boomers would like to keep our wits about us as we continue to age. Fifty may be the new 30, but that is of little significance if 10 years later, we have begun to lose it cognitively speaking. Meantime we would do well to use our cognitive skills to scout out ways of keeping our brain cells pert.

So you don't like olive oil? Scared of spices? Maybe it's worth trying to cultivate a taste for new things, in the name of continued health and clarity.

Mind you, Alzheimer's disease isn't the only thing we can reduce our risk for with a Mediterranean diet. According to an article on Alzheimersreadingroom.com research has suggested that better balance can be achieved in blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and the health of our blood vessels. Inflammation can be decreased.

According to Mayoclinic.com, a traditional Mediterranean diet cuts heart disease risk, and cardiovascular problems, as it also decreases risk for cancer, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease.

What's this health-enhancing diet all about?

Fruits and vegetables are heavily favored. Eat them cooked or raw, but go for produce that hasn't been processed, for instance, candied yams or fruit pies don't really qualify. And eat plenty of them, up to nine servings a day.

Have a small amount of nuts every day. Nut butters are good too, as long as they are natural butters, without hydrogenated fats. Stay away from refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Red meat is down-played, while it's recommended that poultry and fish should grace the menu a few times a week.

Unlike what many of us in North America are accustomed to, the Mediterranean diet differentiates between one type of fat and another. All fats are not created equal. Some are healthy and indeed, essential. Others like trans fats or hydrogenated fats should be avoided. Olive oil is the Mediterranean fat of choice, which is a polyunsaturated fat.

Seek out sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 essential fatty acids make for healthy changes in blood clotting, triglyceride levels, blood pressure and the condition of your cardiovascular system in general. Fish like albacore tuna, herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon and sardines are great for this.

If you can handle grains, make them whole grains, complex carbohydrates rather than simple carbohydrates. Spices like cinnamon, oregano, rosemary and turmeric are singled out for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Some baby boomers will have been enjoying a Mediterranean type of diet for some time. More power to you. For those who have been struggling along eating an unhealthy diet and paying the price for it with their health, maybe it's time to dust off that old adventurous boomer spirit and try something new.


"Brain Healthy Eating" Tips for Baby Boomers in Celebration of National Mediterranean Diet Month

Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option

Mediterranean diet: Choose this heart-healthy diet option

Visit Jody's website and blog at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Reviewed January 5, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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