Healthy Living

Mediterranean-Keto Diet’s Surprising Effect On Cognitive Function

Keto diet for beginners
For beginners, the keto diet allows carbohydrate intake from 30 to 50 net grams, till it is eventually brought down to 20 net grams. Twitter

A study initiated by the researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine found a number of distinct gut microbiome in participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and its bacterial resemblance with the markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

The scientists delved further by studying 17 adults, where 11 of the participants are diagnosed with MCI and six with normal cognition. They randomly appointed the subjects with a diet to observe in a span of six weeks - either the Mediterranean-ketogenic diet or the diet low in fat, high in carbohydrate.

The two groups would then switch diets after the given period for another six weeks.

The study aimed to show whether a Mediterranean-ketogenic diet could change the gut microbiome in order to increase cognitive function and lessen the Alzheimer's markers.

After 12 weeks, they found that the Mediterranean-ketogenic diet really caused changes in the gut microbiome tied with a decreased level of markers of Alzheimer’s within both groups of adults.

Moreover, not only did the diet benefited the group of people diagnosed with MCI, but it also lessened Alzheimer's markers in the study group with normal cognition.

In a news release, Hariom Yadav, PhD, co-author of the study, said that their findings supply important information that interventional and clinical studies in the future can refer to.

"Determining the specific role these gut microbiome signatures have in the progression of Alzheimer's disease could lead to novel nutritional and therapeutic approaches that would be effective against the disease,” Yadav said.

The combination of the Mediterranean and keto diets seem to greatly influence an individual’s cognitive function as well as reduce the risk of having Alzheimer's as the study showed.

Food sources of the newly found meal plan that could alter the microbiomes in your gut and improve your cognition include seafoods, poultry and eggs, olive oil, leafy greens, avocados, tomatoes and common Mediterranean flavorings such as paprika, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, etc.

You can also eat nuts and seeds, high-fat dairies, low-carb fruits like berries and red meat but only in moderation, and limit intake of common keto food sources to help lower LDL cholesterol, such as coconut oil, butter, heavy cream and fatty cuts of red meat.

If possible, avoid foods such as grains, legumes, sugar, tubers and some fruits like apples, bananas and oranges.

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