The MIND diet is based on the Mediterranean-style and DASH diets. It’s called MIND for a reason – it promotes brain health. Portion control can help you make the most of the MIND diet and your cognitive health.

Getting started with the MIND diet is simple. It includes plenty of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. The MIND diet focuses on the intake of plant-based foods, and limiting the intake of animal products and foods high in saturated fat.

So what does portion control have to do with the MIND diet? The MIND diet focuses on adding healthy foods to your diet. There is no calorie counting or checking off boxes of food groups. Instead of restricting you from your favorite food indulgences, you are encouraged to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.

What exactly does moderation mean? When it comes to brain health, it means eating less desirable foods less often, and in smaller amounts.

Portion Control Tips for Indulgent Foods:

1. Use a smaller plate

You’ll feel more satisfied with a smaller portion.

2. Make half of your plate vegetables

Fill the rest with smaller portions of other food groups.

3. Share with a friend

Half of a serving of food while eating out is more like one serving when eating at home.

4. Use your hands

One serving of fruit, veggies or protein is usually about the size of your palm. One serving of fats or nuts is more like the size of your thumb.

5. Have an appetizer

A salad or soup before your meal will get your stomach filled with vegetables and leave less room for less desirable foods.

In one study of people with Type 2 diabetes, people who used portion control lost 5% of their total body weight over a 6 month period. This study goes to show that portion control can help you make healthy choices that lead to improved health. Diabetes and cognitive decline are linked, so what’s good for diabetes is good for your brain, too!