Stroke: The food 'significantly associated' with lower risk - average intake is too low - freetxp

Stroke: The food ‘significantly associated’ with lower risk – average intake is too low

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An unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke because it may lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There are around 1.3 million stroke survivors in the UK, and your symptoms will depend on the part of your brain affected and the extent of the damage.

The University of Leeds found that those who eat a high fiber diet experience a lower risk of first-time stroke.

Government guidelines published in July 2015 say our dietary fiber intake should increase to 30g a day, as part of a healthy balanced diet.

As most adults are only eating an average of about 18g a day, we need to find ways of increasing our intake.

The University study shows that a seven gram increase in dietary fibre per day was associated with a seven percent decrease in first-time stroke risk.

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The researchers analysed, and combined the results of, eight studies published between 1990 and 2012.

The NHS says: “Most of us need to eat more fiber and have added fewer sugars in our diet. Eating plenty of fiber is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.”

The health body adds: “It’s important to get fiber from a variety of sources, as eating too much of one type of food may not provide you with a healthy balanced diet.”

It notes that most pre-packaged foods have a nutrition label on the side or back of the packaging, which often gives you a guide about how much dietary fiber the food contains.


The Stroke Association notes: “Foods that are high in fiber help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood, so when choosing starchy foods, go for wholegrain cereals, brown rice or grains such as whole wheat couscous.”

The NHS says an unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke because it may lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The British Heart Foundation warns: “Fibre isn’t just for digestion, it can help keep your heart healthy too. But most of us don’t eat enough fiber.”

It explains: “Dietary fibre, which you might know as roughage (the old term for it), is the name for substances in plant foods that cannot be completely broken down by digestion.”

The charity says: “Some people are put off eating more fiber because they think it might affect their digestion.

“Bloating and flatulence can be associated with a sudden increase in the amount of fiber in your diet.

“To avoid this, increase the amount of fiber you are eating gradually. Make one change at a time, introducing the next once your body has adjusted.”

It notes fiber supplements are available from pharmacies and health food shops as tablets, in sachets to mix into a drink, or as a powder to add to food.

The Stroke Association warns that the catastrophic event occurs every five minutes in the UK, but the sooner a person receives treatment for a stroke, the less damage is likely to happen.

The NHS says that the main stroke symptoms include changes to the face. Your face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have drooped.

Signs may also occur on the arms – “the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm”, says the NHS.

Their speech may be slurred or garbled, “or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake” and “they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them”, adds the health body.

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