Food For Thought: The MIND Diet Prevents Dementia

November 30, 2017

Grilled Grouper by Providence Healthy LivingWhat is the MIND diet? 

Here is a printable version of this article.

The MIND diet is a eating pattern that combines the Mediterranean and DASH eating pattern to prevent dementia or loss of brain function as we age.  MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay….MIND is easier to remember. 

For now the MIND eating pattern encourages more of 10 specific foods and to eat less of 5 particular foods. 

10 foods the MIND Diet Recommends you eat more of:

  • Green, leafy vegetables—aim for 6 or more servings per week-the more color the better.
  • Any vegetable-try to add at least one vegetable each day that is not green.  Try to limit the starchy vegetables us Southerners love to eat, they have more calories than the other vegetables.
  • Berries-eat berries at least two times per week.
  • Nuts-try to get nuts in at least five times per week.  Remember to watch the serving size…they can add calories.  It seems all nuts are good choices.  Best are the ones with no added salt or sugar, and probably the ones not boiled.
  • Olive oil-not for frying, but use sparingly in cooking.
  • Beans-try to get at least 4 sources a week, including all beans, lentils and soybeans.
  • Whole grains-make sure your grains are whole and not processed.
  • Poultry-enough has already been said about this one!
  • Fish-Eat at least twice a week….not fried!
  • Wine-one glass a day….not a bottle….red or white will work!

10 foods the MIND Diet Recommends you eat less of:

  • Butter and margarine- Eat less than 1 tablespoon daily
  • Cheese-limit to less than once per week…(that one hurts!!)
  • Red Meat- aim for no more than three servings per week, about 9-12 oz. of beef, pork, lamb and any products made from them
  • Fried Foods
  • Pastries and sweets-this includes all the sweet foods you can think of, including ice cream….try to limit to no more than four times per week

(Those last five food that the MIND diet limits is because of the saturated and trans fat so prevalent in them.)       

Anyway it is something to think about………………

As a side bar from my perspective it is kind of cool to see that the healthy eating guidelines are beginning to be similar whether it is the Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, American Heart Association guidelines or the MIND eating pattern.  Eat more color, limit the processed foods.  Pretty simple guidelines to follow.

Grilled Grouper with Lemon and Herbs


  • 2 (6 ounce) grouper fillets
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Italian herb seasoning, salt free
  • 4 lemon wedges


Lay the grouper on a large piece of aluminum foil.  Spring with the seasonings, olive oil and fresh lemon juice.  Heat the grill to medium heat and place the foil on the grill.  Grill for 10-12 minutes.  Remove the fish.  It should be flaky and firm.

Nutrition Information: 263 calories, 8 grams fat, 95 mg cholesterol, 3.3 grams carbohydrate, 42 grams protein, 517 mg sodium


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, SC.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.