We’ve all heard about the Mediterranean diet
— fruits, vegetables, beans, lean meat and fish — and how it can be heart-healthy.
Add nuts and olive oil to the mix, and the brain may also get a boost. I’m Rachelle Grossman
with your latest health news. A new study finds that older patients who enhanced their
Mediterranean diet with olive oil and nuts showed better functioning of the mind and
memory – compared to those just eating a low-fat diet. Spanish researchers separated patients
into three groups. 155 followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive
oil. Another 147 followed a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts. In the
control group, 145 patients ate a low-fat diet. Follow up exams four years later found
that patients assigned to the low-fat control diet showed a decline in mental function.
Those in the nut group showed improved memory and those in the olive oil group showed improved
attention and in skills related to memory, reasoning and problem-solving. Researchers
say additional studies are needed, but the results suggest that in an older population
a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil or nuts may counteract age-related cognitive