Diet plays an important role in protecting against strokes. Eating the wrong foods can significantly increase your personal risk of a stroke. So which foods should be avoided in order to protect yourself effectively?
The body needs so-called blood lipids in order to survive. However, if blood lipid levels are too high, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases, which also affects strokes.
High cholesterol levels are a risk factor
Cholesterol is one such blood fat. A distinction is made between cholesterol: LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein), which is often referred to as unhealthy, and healthy HDL cholesterol (high density lipoprotein). Both are influenced by your diet, depending on what foods you eat.
“Maintaining normal cholesterol levels significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke,” explains Dr. Sonia Tolani in a contribution from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).
Trans fats are particularly critical
According to Dr. According to Tolani, 80 percent of cholesterol in the blood is produced by the liver and body cells, the remaining 20 percent is absorbed through diet. According to the expert, foods that are high in trans fatty acids and saturated fats in particular contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels, which increase the risk of strokes.
Industrially processed foods in particular, such as margarine, pizza, French fries and chips, often contain unhealthy trans fats, which are often declared as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats when listing the ingredients. It is therefore important to avoid such products if possible.
Reduce saturated fats
Saturated fats can also increase the risk of stroke, adds Dr. Tolani. These fats are found in many foods such as beef, lamb, pork and poultry, butter, cheese and palm oil.
However, not all saturated fats are considered equally unhealthy, explains the expert. However, according to the American Heart Association, intake should remain below 13 grams daily
Avoid ultra-processed foods
A recent study also reported that women with ischemic heart disease in particular who live in communities with a low supply of unprocessed foods generally have an increased risk of premature death.
The researchers add that in communities with a greater supply of ultra-processed foods, the risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease, particularly the risk of death from stroke and ischemic heart disease, was generally increased.
In addition, a previous study had already suggested that unprocessed foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds are associated with a lower risk of stroke. Red and processed meat, on the other hand, were associated with an increased risk, reports the German Society for Neurology (DGN) in a statement on the study results.
Taken together, diet can have a significant impact on the risk of stroke and in particular the consumption of red and processed meat, hydrogenated fats and highly processed foods should be avoided to reduce one’s personal risk of stroke. (as)