It is generally believed that eating habits influence our health status in different stages of life. Individual food items or nutrients have been related to cognitive functioning in older adults. However, the cumulative effect of overall diet on cognitive function remains unclear. In this population-based cohort study, researchers examined the effects of a healthy, and an unhealthy dietary patterns on cognitive decline among a big group of randomly selected older individuals living in Stockholm, Sweden.
The healthy diet, characterized by high intake of fruit and vegetables, cereals and legumes, whole grains, rice/pasta, fish, low-fat dairy, poultry, and water, was associated with a decelerated cognitive decline; while, the unhealthy diet, characterized by high intake of red/processed meat, saturated/trans-fat, refined grains, sugar, beer and spirits, was related to an accelerated cognitive decline.
The researchers further found that among those individuals with high intake of unhealthy diet but also high intake of healthy diet (mixed eating pattern), the adverse effect of unhealthy diet on cognitive function may be compensated
Shakersain B, Santoni G, Larsson SC, Faxen-Irving G, Fastbom J, Fratiglioni L, et al. Prudent diet may attenuate the adverse effects of Western diet on cognitive decline. Alzheimers Dement. 2016 Feb;12(2):100-9