We’ve all heard about the Mediterranean diet, whether in the press or from the advertising campaigns of margarine spreads loaded with olive oil. But what would be the effect on our cognitive abilities of combining the basic diet (fish, fermented milk products (yogurt and cheese), fresh fruit/vegetables and lows levels of red meat) with nuts as the main source of fat instead of olive oil?
This was the question a group of Spanish researchers were trying to answer, they recruited over 400 people with an average age of 67 and put them on a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts or a control diet. Their cognitive abilities were assessed at the start and after the intervention.
They found that both Mediterranean diets seemed to improve cognitive functions but not the same ones. The diet supplemented with the oil led to improved speed of thought over the control group and the diet supplemented with nuts let to improved memory recall.
Looks like a bit of both would be the way to go. This research was published in Journal JAMA Internal Medicine