The Mediterranean diet comes with many health benefits, which helps to explain why U.S. News & World Report ranked it at the top of its 40 Best Diets Overall in 2022. This diet doesn’t focus on calories. It emphasizes the consumption of certain food groups commonly consumed in Mediterranean countries.
At the same time, the diet recommends avoiding processed foods and unhealthy fats. Red wine is acceptable in moderation, and the diet also looks at lifestyle choices. As a result, it is more of a lifestyle than an eating plan. Additionally, the diet varies by country or geographical region. However, those who adhere to its guidelines see numerous health benefits. Families looking into senior living options should take this into consideration when choosing a community for a loved one because this diet offers the following benefits.
Reduced Risk of Dementia and Cognitive Decline
A person’s diet affects every aspect of the body, including the brain. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce a person’s risk of dementia, even in those with a genetic disposition to the disorder. This diet also helps improve cognition. Brain scans show people who follow this diet have fewer beta-amyloid deposits in the brain along with lower energy use. However, people must recognize that nutrition is only one element affecting cognitive function and look at many aspects when comparing accommodations offering community living for seniors. Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
In addition to benefiting cognitive function, the Mediterranean diet might also lower a person’s risk of heart disease. This holds even when people aren’t given recommendations on exercise or other lifestyle changes. Women appear to see the greatest benefit in this area. Following this diet can lower their risk of heart disease by 24 percent and their risk of death over time by 23 percent.
Lower Risk of Stroke
Women also find their risk of stroke decreases when they follow the Mediterranean diet. However, men do not see the same benefit. Women at high risk of stroke saw a 20 percent reduction in their risk. In addition, the severity of stroke decreases in those who follow this diet. As seniors are at higher risk for stroke, any reduction in risk is beneficial.
Weight Loss and Maintenance
Many people find they lose weight when following this diet. However, it should not be considered a weight loss plan because the pounds don’t come off quickly. The nuts, oils, and fish in the diet slow weight loss. To use this as a weight-loss plan, a person would also need to restrict their caloric intake. Ask about dietary options when looking into senior living in Redlands, CA, and ensure the staff can meet the needs of each resident fully, regardless of which diet plan they follow.
Type 2 Diabetes
Individuals who follow this diet plan have a reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes, even if they don’t lose weight or exercise regularly. This diet improves blood sugar control. For those who do have diabetes, following this diet can help ward off complications frequently seen with the disease.
A Reduction in Cancer Risk
People find they can reduce their risk of certain cancers by following a Mediterranean diet. This includes cancers such as breast and colorectal cancer. In addition, the diet also helps prevent death among those who are cancer survivors.
Help with Depression
Seniors are at high risk of depression. Memory care communities and senior living homes reduce this risk, as seniors are less likely to be socially isolated. A Mediterranean diet also helps reduce this risk by 33 percent. Researchers are still trying to determine why this is the case.
Moderation is key when it comes to any diet. A person must watch their portions and ensure they aren’t eating unhealthy foods along with healthy choices. Those men and women who adhere to the diet plan and live a healthy lifestyle will see good results. Their health, including their cognitive function, will improve in several ways. Exercise is needed, however, along with social interaction and more to allow a person to live the highest quality of life. When choosing a community for a senior loved one, keep this in mind and ensure the community can meet the needs of this individual in every way.
About Summerfield of Redlands:
Summerfield of Redlands is here for the seniors in your life. We offer assisted living suites, short-term stay apartments, and respite care for those in need, and we have staff members on-site around the clock to assist them with anything they need. Our residents receive access to a beauty salon, activity room, housekeeping, laundry, and planned activities to ensure they enjoy every minute of their time with us.