A higher-fat Mediterranean diet reduces risk of dementia

A higher fat diet seems to be good for preserving our brains and reducing the risk of dementia.

Today there’s a new publication from the PREDIMED study. It has previously shown that a higher-fat Mediterranean diet with extra olive oil or nuts is good for preventing heart disease and improving diabetes. Now it turns out it preserves cognitive function as well: Video report / Study

People in the study who were told to instead eat a low-fat diet did worse on everything. They got more heart disease, more diabetes and more cognitive decline. Don’t eat a low-fat diet.


  1. Charles Grashow
    Not higher in SFA but higher in MUFA.
    Reply: #2
  2. Murray
    It is not clear whether this is a real-world Mediterranean diet eaten by long-living Mediterraneans or the mythical Mediterranean diet invented by Harvard researchers. (Nina Teicholz reviews this in Big Fat Surprise.) Real Mediterraneans eat plenty of cheese (average one pound per week in Greece, for example), which is high in saturated fats. Plenty of studies are linking the fats in cheese to reduced diabetes risk (which would reduce Alzheimer's risk). Even olive oil is typically 14% saturated fats.

    Nuts are likely good because they are low in carbs more than their fat content, except hazelnuts, which are predominantly MUFA and little PUFA. Walnuts are okay as the n-6 PUFA is off-set by n-3 ALA. Also, nuts are a good source of vitamin E, which is required to transport DHA into brain cells.

    Mechanism outlined by which inadequate vitamin E can cause brain damage

  3. ???
    Quite a ridiculous study.
    Why not compare to a normal Mediterranean diet, or would that show no significant impact from the added nuts and oil?
    Reply: #4
  4. FrankG
    What exactly *is* "a normal Mediterranean diet"..?

    Last I checked, there are over 20 countries with coastlines on the Med... each with their own regional variations in diet :-P

    It's one of those vague, undefined terms (platitudes) like "a well balanced diet" or "a normal healthy diet" or "moderation" that everyone thinks mean something... but they really don't.

    Reply: #6
  5. Zepp
    Medeterranian diet was invented by Ancel Keys!

    He was a military doctor in the medettarian region and studyed what they eat after the war when they was starving!

    He was very disepointed when he came back a decade later, when they didnt starv anymore!


  6. Lori Miller
    What is a Mediterranean diet?

    Of course, it varied between times and places, but generally involved things most Americans now really think are unhealthy: little or no soy or PUFA-rich seed oils, but rather eating butter, lard (in parts of Europe), full-fat milk, cheese, and animals snout to tail. Local fruits and vegetables in season, but no vegetarianism. They ate grains, but the grains were a different species of wheat and, I think, were sprouted.

  7. Paul the rat
    Keep those carbs down folks and do not go overexcited with PUFAs
  8. MickeB

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