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The Brain Diet: Less red meat may help brain power

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It's never too late to start eating for better brain power and as Amberly Wotawa has taught her children, it's also never too early.

Eating more plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, appears to help the brain in a number of ways over a lifetime, according to a new report by Tufts Neuroscience and Aging Researchers. They also suggest people get less red meat.

It's important to note that the meat itself isn't bad for people, but replacing it with a few extra fruits and vegetables can really do two things:

  • It can lower the amount of saturated fat in the diet which has been linked to insulin resistance (it messes up the blood sugars in the body)
  • It also lowers a couple of minerals that are linked to Alzheimer's disease, copper and iron.


People get these in plant foods, too, but absorb them differently from meats and animal products. The most absorbable form of iron is 8-to-10 times higher in red meat than in chicken or some other foods.

Registered dietitian Karah Stanley suggests those who want to eat to improve brain health do so by finding a balance. "You can't tell someone who's all meat and potatoes to only eat fruits and vegetables, because that's never going to work for them.”

The amount of red meat recommended on the diet for brain health is no more than 12 ounces a week. People often get that in one meal, with a large steak.

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