Adding one thing to meals “could reduce the risk of dying from dementia,” the study found

A timely addition to your daily meals could mean the difference between life and death, according to a recent dementia study. A new report claims that simply eating a tablespoon of olive oil each day can significantly reduce the risk of dying from the disease.

The information was originally presented in July 2023 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition. An extended peer-reviewed version of the study has now been published in JAMA Network Open, a highly respected scientific journal.

According to Harvard scientists, this is the first comprehensive exploration of potential links between dietary patterns common in Mediterranean cuisine and reduced dementia mortality. They observed more than 92,000 adults who included at least seven grams of olive oil in their diet daily for nearly three decades.

The results suggested that people who regularly enjoyed a serving of olive oil reduced their likelihood of succumbing to dementia by 28%. This was in stark contrast to those who rarely or never incorporated the beneficial product into their diets.

Anne-Julie Tessier, co-senior author and nutrition research associate at Harvard University’s T. H Chan School of Public Health, recently provided additional information, Mirror US reports.

She said: “Our study reinforces dietary guidelines that recommend vegetable oils such as olive oil and suggests that these recommendations not only support heart health but also brain health. Opting for olive oil, a natural product, instead of fats such as margarine and commercial mayonnaise, is a safe choice and may reduce the risk of fatal dementia.”

The study began with an average participant age of 56, including 60,600 women from the Nurses’ Health Study from 1990 to 2018 and 32,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study over the same period.

In the latest work, the researchers assessed participants’ diets every four years with a questionnaire and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index, which rates foods and nutrients based on their connection to chronic disease risk. A higher score on this index reflects a healthier diet.

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