Observational studies suggest that nutritional factors have a potential cognitive benefit. However, systematic reviews of randomised trials of dietary and nutritional supplements have reported largely null effects on cognitive outcomes and have highlighted study inconsistencies and other limitations. In this Personal View, the Nutrition for Dementia Prevention Working Group presents what we consider to be limitations in the existing nutrition clinical trials for dementia prevention. On the basis of this evidence, we propose recommendations for incorporating dietary patterns and the use of genetic, and nutrition assessment tools, biomarkers, and novel clinical trial designs to guide future trial developments. Nutrition-based research has unique challenges that could require testing both more personalised interventions in targeted risk subgroups, identified by nutritional and other biomarkers, and large-scale and pragmatic study designs for more generalisable public health interventions across diverse populations.