People who are having healthier diets with higher quantities of vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, soy products and moderate alcohol intake are at a reduced risk of cognitive decline as they get older, says new research.
The team from Ontario-based McMaster University tracked the health and habits of 28,000 people who were taking part in two international studies across 40 countries.
Researchers found that of the 5,700 people with the healthiest diets, 14 percent had developed cognitive decline.
On the other hand, in the 5,460 people with the least healthy diets, about 18 percent of them experienced cognitive decline.
The unhealthy foods were red meat, deep-fried foods and sweets. It may not sound like a big difference but it is about a 24 percent reduction in risk for the people on healthy diets.
“The consumption of ‘healthy’ choices may be beneficial but the effect may be reduced with the consumption of ‘unhealthy’ choices,” Forbes reported, quoting the researchers.
For example, the beneficial effect of fruit may be lost if prepared with high amounts of fats or sugars.
“Our data suggest that an overall healthy diet is more important than the consumption of any one particular food,” study author Andrew Smyth emphasised.
Healthy diets are rich in antioxidants and are excellent for the brain health.