For seniors to improve their memory and possibly deter cognitive decline, how much one eats may be just as important as what one eats.
A new study has found people who cut their calorie intake by about 30 percent performed better on standard memory tests after three months when compared to people who did not change their diet.
Dr A Veronica Witte from the University of Munster and her colleagues divided 50 individuals with an average age of 60 into three groups.
One cut their calories, another increased their consumption of unsaturated fatty acids and a third served as a control group.
The calorie-restricted group experienced a 20 percent average increase in verbal memory scores after three months, according to researchers. The other two groups did not experience any significant enhancements to their memory.
"To our knowledge, the current results provide the first experimental evidence in humans that caloric restriction improves memory in the elderly," Witte wrote in the study.
The researchers added the findings may contribute to possible brain-function treatments in the future and may be a step towards preventing cognitive decline.