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Five Ways to Adopt the Mediterranean Diet to Prevent Alzheimer’s

Posted by on Monday, December 10th, 2012

A Mediterranean-style diet has been recommended as a reliable way to harness the power of nutrition to prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and now Alzheimer’s disease as well. Unfortunately, there are a variety of businesses designed to scam consumers, and diets are no exception. However, you don’t need to worry about that when adopting a Mediterranean-style. The Mediterranean diet isn’t a diet program, it’s just a way of eating comprised of  key features that help classify it as such. Many of these features are recommended to those seeking to prevent Alzheimer’s and even treat Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI).

Mediterranean Diet for Alzheimer's Prevention

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A nonprofit organization called Oldways has created a handy Mediterranean food pyramid to help those who are new to eating a Mediterranean diet.  In contrast to the USDA’s Food Pyramid that puts an emphasis on consuming more carbohydrates, dairy, and meat while recommending lower amounts of fat, the Mediterranean diet recommends consuming larger amounts of healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts, and focusing the diet on vegetables while consuming less meat and dairy products.

The diet is structured around the concept of eating in a manner similar to the way people have been eating for years in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain.  Research has confirmed time and again that because of the foods people in this region eat, they have much lower rates of diseases associated with the Standard American Diet (SAD), including Alzheimer’s disease.


Mediterranean Diet and Alzheimer's Prevention

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A study published in the Annals of Neurology in 2006 tested the affects of the Mediterranean diet on patients suffering from MCI and Alzheimer’s disease and found that strict adherence to the diet resulted in a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Here are five ways to make changes to adopt a more Mediterranean-style diet:



Contrary to the food pyramid recommended by the USDA, the Mediterranean diet encourages plentiful consumption of healthy fats such as olive oil and nuts. These fats provide at least two benefits: they can help lower cholesterol, and feel more satiated when you eat meals, which help you eat less food at meal time.

Plant Foods

Vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains,  combined with healthy fats, should make up the bulk of your diet. Eat a rainbow of vegetables with deeply hued colors like dark leafy greens, bright orange peppers, and deep purple cabbage. Focus on eating whole grains or products made from whole grains, and don’t skimp on beans and lentils.

Prevent Alzheimer's By Eating A Mediterranean Diet

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Daily Activity and Shared Meals

The Mediterranean diet also puts emphasis on engaging in daily activities just as walking. You are also encouraged to eat meals with others: slow down, pay attention to what you’re eating and how the food you consume can help keep you healthy.


You are encouraged to drink wine in limited quantities. For men, up to two glasses per day are recommended, and for women no more than one glass per day. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in red wine help to block the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s.


Your diet should include fish rich in omega-3 oils at least two to three days per week.  Shellfish are also recommended and are low in disease-causing saturated fats.


For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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