Cool down & eat healthy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Someone once said that it didn’t get officially hot in Louisiana until the temperature broke 100 degrees. Ninety-nine degrees was still in the “warm” zone. I would disagree with that, but the fact that we’ve made it halfway through July without a real statewide scorcher is encouraging.


It’s well known that Louisianans like their spicy foods, but when the weather turns warmer (ha) we might like to settle into something cooler.  Recipes in the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diets fit the bill, with a lagniappe:  these diets are heart healthy AND may help protect the brain.  Heart-healthy eating includes limiting the intake of sugar and saturated fats and making sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.


The DASH diet aims to reduce blood pressure, and emphasizes vegetables, fruits and fat-free or low-fat dairy products; includes whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts and vegetable oils; and limits sodium, sweets, sugary beverages and red meats.


A Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats.  On this diet you should eat fish and poultry at least twice a week, limit red meat, and use herbs to flavor food rather than salt.  There are any number of Mediterranean diet recipes; just Google “Mediterranean Diet Recipes” and browse away.


If you have a question about Alzheimer’s disease, you can always call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 for more information.

The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. Visit or call 800-272-3900.


Scott Finley is media relations manager for the Alzheimer’s Association®.  He can be reached at