Following DASH Diet Improves Brain Activity in Overweight Adults

A new study suggest that the DASH diet in combination with regular exercise improves mental activity by 30% in overweight adults compared with those who didn’t diet or exercise. The DASH diet was developed for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study and emphasizes low-fat dairy products and low-cholesterol foods as well as carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables.

Researchers say high blood pressure affects about 50% of adults aged 60 and older and increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of mental decline like dementia.

These are 5 healthy lifestyle factors associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure:

1. Healthy weight: body mass index (BMI) of less than 25.
2. Daily exercise: average of 30 minutes of vigorous exercise per day.
3. Heart-healthy diet (DASH).
4. Moderate alcohol use.
5. Use non-narcotic pain relievers less than once per week.

References:

DASH Diet Fuels the Brain - WebMD.
Top diets of 2012 - from Cleveland Clinic health blog http://buff.ly/X2I4BJ
6 healthy lifestyle factors associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure
A table to show the impact of lifestyle interventions on blood pressure http://bit.ly/johjzs - Great for patient education.

Related:

What is the best diet in the world? DASH Diet, according to the latest review. TIME, 2011.
The long history of dieting fads: "soap should be eaten for its diuretic properties", wrote a prominent surgeon in 1810. Lancet, 2012

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