Friday, July 30, 2010

The Mediteranean Diet

The Mediteranean Diet is supposed to be so good for us--helps prevent or slow down dementia says this article:  Strengthen Your Brain.  The 2010 "John Hopkins White Page Memory" book also reports:
Mediterranean diet? Researchers generally attribute its health-promoting benefits to two factors: 1) a high intake of fruits and vegetables, and 2) higher-than-usual intakes of olive oil and fish. Fruits and vegetables are rich in free-radical-fighting antioxidants like vitamins A, C. and E, which can quench inflammation in the brain. Research shows that inflammation and oxidative damage from free radicals may play a role in the brain changes typical of Alzheimer’s disease.
The heart-healthy aspects of the Mediterranean diet also may contribute to its ability to slow cognitive decline. The Mediterranean diet promotes health blood vessels, and that means improved blood flow to the brain and better cognitive function. By contrast, reduced blood flow through arteries clogged with atherosclerotic plaque can lead to changes in the brain that can impair memory and thinking. *
Rarely can you have beef on this diet, but my husband often will ask about a meal, "Where's the beef?" And fish? He likes fried grouper.  I put out fish in the refrigerator to thaw, but dared not yet spring this on him yet. However,  I was determined to start the Mediterannian Diet today.
Without going shopping, here is what we had today to start on this diet. Breakfast was oatmeal with walnuts, coconut oil and non-fat milk. Lunch was Chicken salad sandwich mixed with olive oil mayonnaise and coconut oil, and Activia yogurt mixed with blueberries. Dinner was a big salad, yellow rice with olive oil and black beans. Watermellon was the dessert he had before dinner while I was fixing dinner. ONLY, he did not eat the yellow rice and black beans. Legunes will be a hard sell for him, but fish will be a harder sell.

"How did you run out of ice cream?" he asked after dinner. I offered him applesauce instead, but he said "No, that's all right." Should not have let him fill up on watermelon before dinner.

The diet according to John Hopkins:
The overall dietary pattern known as the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish has been found to reduce Alzheimer’s risk by 40 to 60%. The diet includes lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts and is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats (found in olive and canola oils, almonds, and avocados). Dairy products, eggs, and poultry are eaten only in moderation, and red meat consumption is rare.
They give these six rules (my comments are in red):
1. Center meals around plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, not around animal flesh. Check for today, except he did not eat the black beans
2. Use monounsaturated fats, such as olive or canola oil, instead of butter, margarine, and other oils.Olive oil as well as coconut oil was in the chichen salad sandwich.
3. Eat fish and seafood at least twice a week, and choose these protein sources much more often than red meat and poultry. Chicken sandwich for lunch--hope to mix it with tuna fish to diguise the tuna next time--he hates tuna, although once I caught him eating tuna noodle casserole that I was making for my lunches for a week. Getting fish into his diet will be so hard.
4. For snacks, try a handful of unsalted nuts, a cup of nonfat yogurt, or a cube of low-fat cheese. Had yogurt and walnuts.
5. Choose fruit for desserts rather than cakes, cookies, and ice cream. Luckily out of ice cream! Had blue berries and watermelon.
6. If you drink alcohol, enjoy one glass of red or white wine with dinner. None.
I have the six points above posted on the refrigerator. I mentioned to him we are going on the Mediteranean Diet, but not to lose weight for him. I am afraid he will loose more weight on this diet if he doesn't like the food, but want so much to have it benefit his brain health and slow down the dementia. Tomorrow he will probably forget that he agreed to the Mediterannean Diet. 

FlyLady mentions this: Use half olive oil and butter whipped together. Spreads easier, better for you and less saturated fat than regular butter. Now for me I am going to put a little coconut oil in with this mixture. More on FlyLady in a week or two before my yard sale.

August 17th my husband is going to be evaluated by a neurologist at an Alzheimer's research center to see what kind of dementia he has. Then he might fit into a research study. Wouldn't it be nice if that research study meant he had to follow the Mediteranean Diet--just wishing!

* Footnote on John Hopkins Research Papers: I ordered The 2010 Johns Hopkins Memory White Paper and can canceled it before 30 days or I would have paid $32.90 to keep it. John Hopkins also offers a free quarterly newsletter. By this they mean that you join a charter membership for around $149 and get four newsletters "free".

1 comment:

  1. My husband needs beef. So I made beef soup/stew and put in some of the Mediterranean Diet stuff that didn't work on him. He is happy with the beef soup/stew. Added coconut oil, olive oil, can of tomatoes, peas, beans, noodles and seasoning. Includes the black beans and yellow rice he wouldn't eat recently!Beef is not on the Mediterranean Diet, but the other stuff is!