The MIND Diet

Returning to an old, but popular article topic, Memory Care.  I just read about a new diet that studies have shown may decrease the risk of getting Dementia, or Alzheimer’s.  The MIND diet, which is a variation of the DASH diet and the Mediterranean Diet.  The MIND diet focuses a lot on berries that boost brain function such as strawberries and blueberries.  From a kidney viewpoint that is great, because both of those berries are especially low in potassium compared to other fruits.  One thing of concern from a kidney viewpoint is the MIND diet focuses on Whole Grains.  3 servings a day of Whole Grains.  Whole Grains are much higher in phosphorus than their refined white friends.  So, portion control will be the issue if you have kidney disease.  I use the website Eat This Much to find out how much phosphorus is in the foods I eat.  So, what are the specifics of the MIND diet?

MIND Diet specifics:

Green Leafy Vegetables:  at least 6 servings per day.  If you are on a blood thinner or need to watch potassium levels manage your portion sizes accordingly.

Whole Grains:  3 or more servings per day.  See note above if you have kidney disease.  Popcorn is a whole grain, btw.  Adding a bit of rolled oats to my 2 smoothies a day helps me meet this requirement.  I do not care for whole wheat products as they cause bloating.  So, I look to get my whole grains from popcorn, rolled oats in my smoothies and whole-grain pasta if I can find it and it isn’t whole wheat.  I love whole oat bread for toast and sandwiches.  Watch how much sodium per serving though.

At least 1 serving of another type of vegetable per day.  I get way more than one.  Be careful of starchy veggies like potatoes.

Nuts:  5 servings a week.  I add slivered almonds or walnuts to my smoothie recipes.

Berries:  2 or more servings a week.  I get 2 or more in a day, most days.

Beans or Legumes:  3 or more servings a week.  This one is hard for me as I do not like beans.  I do like tender sweet peas though, and they are a legume.

Fish:  One or more serving per week.  Tuna is the only fish I eat.

Poultry:  2 or more servings per week.  I try to stick to just chicken and no red meat, except on occasion.

Wine:  Up to 1 serving per day of 3 ounces, red wine I presume.  If you have liver issues, or high blood pressure, ask your doctor first.

Olive oil as the main cooking oil.

Avoid sugar, caffeine, and processed foods.  Of course, everyone should already be watching their sodium intake, whether you have a condition or not.  It is just plain healthier.  The one thing I found super interesting was to limit cheese to only 1 serving per week on the MIND diet.  I am not sure of the justification for that other than maybe the fat and sodium content.  I will have to research that a bit more.  You can read both of the articles I found on this diet.  I am sure there are tons more, they are just the 2 that introduced me to the MIND diet.  If any of these requirements contradict anything a medical professional has told you, then don’t do it.  Discuss it with them as to the rational.  If you have Diabetes you still need to manage Carbs in the foods you eat.  Some of these foods may be higher in Carbs.


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