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A Mediterranean Diet with Fresh, Lean Pork Improves Processing Speed and Mood: Cognitive Findings from the MedPork Randomised Controlled Trial

1
Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, 5001 Adelaide, Australia
2
School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA 6027, Australia
3
Medical School, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Perth, WA 6000, Australia
4
Flinders Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, 5042 Adelaide, Australia
5
Cognitive Ageing and Impairment Neurosciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, 5005 Adelaide, Australia
6
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, 5005 Adelaide, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1521; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071521
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 4 July 2019
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Abstract

Abstract: Background: The Mediterranean diet may be capable of improving cognitive function. However, the red meat restrictions of the diet could impact long-term adherence in Western populations. The current study therefore examined the cognitive effects of a Mediterranean diet with additional red meat. Methods: A 24-week parallel crossover design compared a Mediterranean diet with 2–3 weekly servings of fresh, lean pork (MedPork) and a low-fat (LF) control diet. Thirty-five participants aged between 45 and 80 years and at risk of cardiovascular disease followed each intervention for 8 weeks, separated by an 8-week washout period. Cognitive function was assessed using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Psychological well-being was measured through the SF-36 Health Survey and mood was measured using the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Results: During the MedPork intervention, participants consumed an average of 3 weekly servings of fresh pork. Compared to LF, the MedPork intervention led to higher processing speed performance (p = 0.01) and emotional role functioning (p = 0.03). No other significant differences were observed between diets. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that a Mediterranean diet inclusive of fresh, lean pork can be adhered to by an older non-Mediterranean population while leading to positive cognitive outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: MedDiet; protein; cognitive function; ageing; cardiovascular disease MedDiet; protein; cognitive function; ageing; cardiovascular disease
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Wade, A.T.; Davis, C.R.; Dyer, K.A.; Hodgson, J.M.; Woodman, R.J.; Keage, H.A.D.; Murphy, K.J. A Mediterranean Diet with Fresh, Lean Pork Improves Processing Speed and Mood: Cognitive Findings from the MedPork Randomised Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1521.

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