The popular Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was created to lower blood pressure, but new research says it can also reduce the risk of depression later in life.
A study, to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in April, shows that the popular diet — rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and very few foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar — does more than what has been shown in multiple studies: Lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol (LDL) and body weight.
“Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke,” said study author Laurel Cherian, MD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, in a press release.
“Making a lifestyle change such as changing your diet is often preferred over taking medications, so we wanted to see if diet could be an effective way to reduce the risk of depression,” Cherian added.
Almost 1,000 adults with an average age of 81 were followed for
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