What’s an Alzheimer’s Diet? [Sample Meal Plan]

Is there an Alzheimer's Diet?

Is there a diet that can ward off memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s? Is there an “Alzheimer’s Diet”? Epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris and her team at Rush University Medical Center say that there is. In a hefty study, they took 923 seniors and put them on a diet. The plan took some foods from the Mediterranean Diet and some from a blood-pressure diet called DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Morris’ study monitored participants for over 4.5 years. The results were impressive. Sticking to this new diet lowered the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by a whopping 53%. But what’s even more exciting is that following it just moderately reduced the risk by 35%. They called this the MIND diet (Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay). As of this writing, it is already ranked #3 in the U.S. News & World Report Best Diets Guide (Best Diets Overall Category).

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Eating on an Alzheimer’s Diet

If you’ve tried the Mediterranean Diet, the MIND Diet will sound familiar. The seniors in the study ate leafy green vegetables every day, plus another vegetable at least once a day. They had three servings of whole grains three times per day. They snacked on nuts every day and berries at least two times a week. For protein they ate poultry at least twice per week, fish at least once per week and beans every other day. They used olive oil and they were allowed one glass of red wine per day.

The participants avoided red meats, dairy, and margarine.  They limited fried or fast foods to one serving (or less) per week. They cut out pastries and sweets as much as possible.

Sample Alzheimer’s Diet Meal Plan

As of this writing, the MIND diet is so new, that there isn’t much written about it. And because it’s not the same food every day, meal planning can be quite challenging. So, here’s a sample brain-friendly menu, based on the MIND diet, to get you started. This is not a weight loss diet. If you are trying to lose weight, be sure to calculate your daily calorie intake limit and measure portions as needed.

Day 1

Breakfast:
Steel cut unsweetened oatmeal with blueberries, chopped walnuts, and almond milk.
Optional: stevia sweetener.

Lunch:
Green salad with avocado slices, chicken pieces, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds. Toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and lemon pepper.
Baked potato chips.

Snack:
Peanut butter and celery sticks.

Dinner:
Whole wheat pasta, topped with ground turkey and low-sugar marinara sauce.
Sauteed spinach and artichoke hearts. Flavor with garlic infused olive oil and parsley.
Optional: 1 glass wine (or unsweetened berry juice)

Day 2

Breakfast:
Plain yogurt with blueberries, ground flax seeds, bananas, and slivered almonds.
Optional: stevia sweetener.

Snack:
Unsalted shelled pistachios.

Lunch:
Whole wheat pita bread filled with hummus, pickles, and sprouts.
Grapes

Dinner:
Grilled salmon, sauteed zucchini, and brown rice.
Baby greens and avocado slices tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper.
Optional: 1 glass wine (or unsweetened berry juice)

Day 3

Breakfast:
Green smoothie with banana, peanut butter, spinach, flaxseed, berries and almond milk.
Whole wheat toast topped with olive oil spread.
Optional: stevia sweetener.

Lunch:
Small whole wheat wrap with tuna, shredded green cabbage, banana peppers, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Medium apple.

Snack:
Almonds, unsalted.

Dinner:
Grilled chicken with low-sugar barbecue sauce, corn on the cob dressed with olive oil and pinch of salt.
Three bean salad with navy beans, kidney beans, green beans, chives, olive oil, vinegar, pinch of salt, and pepper.
Optional: 1 glass wine (or unsweetened berry juice)

Day 4

Breakfast:
1 slice of whole-grain toast topped with guacamole, tomato slice, and 1 over-easy egg.
Bowl of fresh berries.

Lunch:
Baby shrimp mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper, diced celery served on baby greens.
Baked potato chips.

Snack:
Almond butter and 1 medium apple.

Dinner:
Salmon burger on whole grain bun with mustard and low-sodium mayonnaise.
Sliced cucumbers tossed with olive oil, vinegar, dill, and pinch of salt.
Optional: 1 glass wine (or unsweetened berry juice)

Day 5

Breakfast:
Plain yogurt with 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup strawberries.
Optional: stevia sweetener.
1 slice whole-grain toast with half an avocado

Lunch:
Sandwich with whole-wheat bread, roasted chicken, lettuce, tomato, Dijon mustard.
Spinach salad with blueberries, raspberries and sunflower seeds.
Dressing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Snack:
Trail mix with peanuts, dried berries, and dried apricots.

Dinner:
Roasted pork loin, asparagus, quinoa (or rice).
Optional: 1 glass wine (or unsweetened berry juice)

Day 6

Breakfast:
1 whole-grain tortilla covered with low-sodium refried beans, 1 egg, tomatoes, chives and pinch of salt.

Lunch:
Low sodium chicken-noodle soup.
Whole grain roll topped with lemon-infused olive oil.

Snack:
Apple slices dipped in cashew butter.

Dinner:
Romaine lettuce tossed with cubed grilled chicken, navy beans, whole grain croutons. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, pinch of parmesan cheese, garlic.
Optional: anchovy fillets
Optional: 1 glass wine (or unsweetened berry juice)

Day 7

Breakfast:
Smoothie with blueberries, berry juice of choice, banana and 1/2 avocado.
Optional: stevia sweetener.

Snack:
Whole wheat baked pita chips with almond butter.

Lunch:
Quinoa bowl topped with roasted chicken, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, red onion, and cucumber. Season with olive oil, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, pinch of salt.
Apple

Dinner:
Slice of Frittata (saute 1 cup chopped onion, 3 cups fresh spinach, pepper and pinch of salt in olive oil. Add 8 beaten eggs to pan and cook for two minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 12 minutes at 425 degrees).
Roasted asparagus.
Whole grain served with garlic-infused olive oil.
Optional: 1 glass wine (or unsweetened berry juice)

Tips

Try to use olive oil as your primary oil.
Stick to low sodium and low sugar options.
Peanuts are actually beans.
Some types of exercise are also thought to protect against memory loss.

Alzheimer’s Diet in a Nutshell:

Eat:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Other vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Olive oil
  • Wine

Avoid:

  • Red meats
  • Butter and stick margarine
  • Cheese
  • Sugar
  • Fried food

Source

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