MIND Diet: Good For Brain, Body
Looking for a change in diet that boosts your brain and helps your body? A recent review of more than 40 eating plans found that the MIND diet may achieve both.
The MIND diet was ranked #4 in Best Diets Overall for 2019 according to an analysis by U.S. News and World Report. The review evaluated more than 40 diets with input from a panel of health experts.
How The MIND Diet Ranks
MIND diet was ranked:
- #4 (tie) in Best Diets Overall
- #4 (tie) in Best Heart-Healthy Diets
- #4 in Easiest Diets to Follow
- #4 (tie) in Best Diets for Healthy Eating
- #10 (tie) in Best Diabetes Diets
- #29 (tie) in Best Weight-Loss Diets
- #33 (tie) in Best Fast Weight-Loss Diets (See how U.S. News rank diets for its methodology.)
MIND Diet Details
The MIND diet takes components of the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet, focusing on foods that impact brain health and offering heart-healthy benefits such as an emphasis on lower-sodium foods.
10 Types of Foods to Eat in the MIND Diet
With the MIND diet, the emphasis is on eating these types of foods:
- Green leafy vegetables - 6 servings or more per week
- Whole grains - 3 or more servings per day
- Other vegetables - 1 serving per day
- Nuts - 5 servings per week
- Berries - 2 or more servings per week
- Beans or legumes - 3 or more servings per week
- Fish - 1 or more serving per week
- Poultry - 2 or more servings per week
- Wine - up to 1 serving per day
- Olive oil as the main cooking oil
5 Groups of Foods to Avoid in the MIND Diet
Researchers recommended avoiding or limiting these foods:
- Sweets - less than 5 servings per week
- Red meat - less than 4 servings per week
- Cheese - less than 1 serving per week
- Fried or fast food - less than 1 serving per week
- Butter or margarine - less than 1 tablespoon per day
A Franciscan Health registered dietitian broke down the MIND diet benefits and ideas for MIND diet menu plans in a video and blog post last year.
MIND Diet Benefits
One of the key benefits of the MIND diet is its positive effect on the brain and cognitive abilities.
"We now know DHA and Omega-3 are so important to reduce the oxidative stress in your brain and can show to reduce the cognitive decline," said Franciscan Health Registered Dietitian Yu-Han Huang MS, RD, CD. "And Omega-3, of course, is very important to helping your neurons and synapse proteins in your brain."
MIND Diet For Weight Loss
The MIND diet's focus is on brain and heart health, rather than calorie counting. However, because this diet has a higher emphasis on produce and lean proteins, you may be see weight loss if your overall calorie intake has decreased with the change in approach to eating.