Effect of Dietary Intake Through Whole Foods on Cognitive Function: Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

Rozmin Jiwani, Ronna Robbins, Alfonso Neri, Jose Renero, Emme Lopez, Monica C. Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose of Review: This review evaluated recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the chronic intake of whole foods associated with the Mediterranean, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurogenerative Delay (MIND), and ketogenic (KETO) diets on cognitive function. Recent Findings: We identified RCTs related to olive oil (N = 3), nuts (N = 7), fatty fish (N = 1), lean meats (N = 4), fruits and vegetables (N = 9), legumes (N = 1), and low-fat dairy (N = 4), with 26/29 reporting positive results on at least one measure of cognition. We also identified 6 RCTs related to whole food–induced KETO diets, with half reporting positive effects on cognition. Summary: Variations in study design (i.e., generally the studies are < 6 months and include middle-aged and older, cognitively intact participants) and small sample sizes make it difficult to draw conclusions across studies; however, the current evidence from RCTs generally supports individual component intakes of these dietary patterns as an effective, nonpharmacological approach to improve cognitive health in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-160
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Nutrition Reports
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Cognitive function
  • DASH diet
  • Ketogenic diet
  • MIND diet
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Whole foods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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