Eating a healthy diet can help reduce your stroke risk. Diet affects weight, blood pressure and diabetes, which are all directly linked to stroke risk.
Healthy eating tips
There are self-help strategies, resources and organisations to help make things a little easier for you, some of them can be found below. Ask your GP about specific advice for you.
Healthy eating tips are summarised in this infographic.
1. Fruit and veg: eat the rainbow
- Vary the colours and types of fruit and veg you eat.
- Have 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, fresh or frozen.
- Fruit and veg should make up about a third of your food.
2. Starchy food (potatoes, bread, rice, pasta) should make up about a third of your food
- Choose wholegrain varieties, like brown rice.
- Starchy foods are a good source of energy.
3. Healthy sources of protein (beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat)
- Beans and pulses are good alternatives to meat as they are low in fat.
- Aim for 2 portions of fish per week, one of which is oily.
- Eat less red and processed meat, like sausages and bacon.
- Remove skin and visible fat from meat.
4. Reduce your salt intake
- Lots of salt can increase your blood pressure, high blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke.
- Try not to add extra salt to a meal.
- Where possible eat fresh rather than processed foods.
5. Mediterranean style diet is associated with reduced stroke risk
Just one or two everyday swaps can make a difference. For example:
- 1% fat milk has about half the fat of semi-skimmed milk.
- Swap to brown bread/ rice/ pasta: wholegrain food contains more fibre and can help us feel full for longer.
- Choose lean cuts of meat or leaner mince.
- Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day.
- Water is healthy and cheap.
- Plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) count.
- Flavour water with fresh fruit rather than sugary squash.
- Avoid sugary and fruit drinks.
3. Think about what motivates you
- People will have different motivations: write yours down and re-read them.
- Remember how good you feel when you eat healthy and are active.
5. Plan and prepare your meals
- You are much more likely to eat well if you have planned your meals in advance.
- Write a meal plan and shopping list for the week.
- Prepare healthy snacks; for example, cut up a pepper to keep in the fridge for a snack.
6. Don't let one slip up throw you off course
- Nobody is perfect, just pick up where you left off.
- Don’t completely deprive yourself of certain foods, this can cause you to obsess over what you can’t have.
These apps are recommended by the NHS
Make healthy food choices
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