Should My Diet Adapt With Age? Ask a Nutritionist. January 13, 2022

Want to help keep your brain, heart and skin healthy as you get older?  A new diet plan, called the MIND diet, was created to protect your brain and help delay or slow down dementia. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.  It is a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the Dash Diet plans.  Both of these diets recommend foods that help with inflammation, provide antioxidants that can help prevent aging and promote heart health.

The MIND diet includes foods such as leafy greens, whole grains, berries, legumes, fish, poultry, vegetables and olive oil. These foods can make a difference in your health as you grow older, and they may help benefit your brain as well.  Eating more protein foods such as fish, poultry, soy, beans, nuts, lentils and Greek yogurt can help keep you from losing muscle mass, which declines as you get older. And foods like almonds, leafy greens, melon, oranges and grapes can benefit skin health as well.

Here are some of the plan’s specific recommendations:

  • At least one dark green leafy vegetable every day,
  • Berries twice a week,
  • Five servings of nuts per week- a handful or two is a serving,
  • Legumes and dried beans three to four times a week,
  • Three or more servings of whole grains a day,
  • Poultry at least twice a week, but skip the fried version,
  • Fish at least once a week, but not fried.

Here are the foods to limit:

  • Cheese, fast foods and fried foods to less than once a week,
  • Butter to one tablespoon a day – use olive oil instead,
  • Sweets to less than five times each week,
  • Red meat to no more than three meals per week,
  • If you drink wine, it’s better to choose red and no more than one glass a day.

So to help protect your skin, your brain and your heart as you age, try making some of the dietary recommendations from the MIND eating plan. What have you got to lose?

Joanne M. Gallivan, M.S., R.D.N. is a registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She served as the Director of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) in the Office of Communication and Public Liaison for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 1997-2016.  Previously, Ms. Gallivan has served as project manager for NIDDK’s Weight-Control Information Network (WIN), a national source of information on weight control, obesity, and weight-related nutritional disorders for health professionals and the public; as Contract Manager for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Cholesterol Education Program and Obesity Education Initiative, and as Director of the Prince George’s County Health Department Nutrition Division located in Maryland.

Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic is a free clinic in Charleston, SC, that provides free medical care to uninsured adults. The Free Clinic serves adults with no health insurance living at or below 299 % of the Federal poverty level who live or work on Johns, James, & Wadmalaw Island or Folly Beach, or serve the Hospitality Industry of Downtown Charleston. You can sign up for our monthly e-news updates, or follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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