Rush University Logo A Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fish, as well as olive oil along with wine and alcohol in moderation seems to have greater significance in the health world. Already known to minimize diabetes risk, adopting a diet influenced by the Mediterranean style also keeps the heart healthy. Experts from the Rush University Medical Center suggest that older adults dependent on Mediterranean diet have slower rates of cognitive decline.

The study was initiated on 3,759 older adults aged 65 years and above living in the South side of Chicago. After every three years volunteers were subjected to a cognitive assessment for analyzing memory and basic math skills. Then a questionnaire for revealing consumption frequency of 139 food items, namely cereals, olive oil, red meat and alcohol was answered. Scientists also examined the way participants adhered to a Mediterranean diet that includes every day intake of foods like fruits, vegetables legumes, olive oil, fish, potatoes, non-refined cereals and wine.

Complete adherence to the Mediterranean diet would be possibly displayed by a maximum score of 55 and the average study subject scored 28. Christy Tangney, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor of clinical nutrition at Rush University, and colleagues note that those with higher scores in the cognitive tests had a slower rate of decline. The results were affirmed after considering the education level of each participant.

The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.