A healthy diet lowers the risk of stroke

August 12, 2008 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

A healthy diet lowers the risk of stroke

A person's odds of suffering a stroke could be reduced by living a "low-risk" lifestyle, which includes consuming a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight, according to new study published in the August 11, 2008 issue of Circulation.

In this study, 43,685 healthy men (average age 54) and 71,243 healthy women (average age 50) provided health and lifestyle information every two years for almost 20 years.

During the study, 1,559 women and 994 men had strokes.

The researchers identified five "low-risk" lifestyle factors: not smoking; maintaining a normal body weight; exercising 30 minutes or more each day; taking a multivitamin for at least five years; drinking alcohol in moderation; and eating a healthy diet.

A healthy diet consisted of high amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals, lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, legumes (beans), and low amounts of trans and saturated fats.

Women who lived all five "low-risk" lifestyle factors were 79 percent less likely to suffer any type of stroke compared with women who followed none of the lifestyle factors.

Men who followed all five "low-risk" lifestyle factors had 69 percent lower risk suffering any type of stroke compared to men who lived none of the lifestyle factors.

Researchers say following a healthy lifestyle, which has been associated with up to 80 percent lower risk of heart disease and 90 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, may also prevent more than half of all strokes.

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, about 16,000 Canadians die from strokes every year. 

For information on how diet can affect your risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, check Leslie Beck's Foods that Fight Disease.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.