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Preventing stroke or recovering from stroke and staying healthy can be achieved when you take appropriate steps to control your weight and blood pressure. Making healthy food choices is a major step in the right direction, and a registered dietitian can help you choose the right foods. A dietitian can teach you how to prepare and plan meals and snacks to enhance your health.
This educational tool is provided to get you started on the road to prevention and recovery. No two people have the same results; therefore, incorporate these healthy eating strategies with frequent check-ups with your physician and dietitian and taking your medications as prescribed.
For more information about MyPlate, please visit the USA's interactive website at http://www.myplate.gov
Because no single food can provide our bodies with all of the nutrients we need for good health, choose a variety of foods each day. Incorporating a variety of foods from all the food groups as suggested by the MyPlate.gov graphic is a great way to get started.
In order to obtain the health-protective nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, it's important to choose a variety of colorful foods at each meal. Go for a rainbow approach by choosing an array of fruits, vegetables and legumes dark reds, oranges, vibrant yellows, deep greens, blues and purples. By choosing a rainbow of colors, you'll be sure to take in a wide range of nutrients.
Research shows that the best way to obtain the benefits of a healthy diet is to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. So, in addition to steps 1 and 2, make sure you eat a minimum of five servings each day.
One serving of vegetables is equal to:
One serving of fruit is equal to:
Reading food labels is a great way to learn more about the foods you are eating. By law, most foods must have nutritional information listed in a standard way. When selecting foods for reducing your risk of stroke, focus on the following information on the food label for each serving:
Once you get used to reading food labels, you'll become a healthier shopper.
Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance made by your body and found in foods of animal origin. Your body needs cholesterol to maintain the health of your body's cells. Too much cholesterol in your blood can increase your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Diets high in saturated fats are linked to high cholesterol and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature and are found in animal products like meat, cheese, egg yolks, butter, and ice cream, and some vegetable oils (palm, palm kernel and coconut). Limiting the amount of saturated fat you eat from these foods is key to stroke prevention.
To cut the saturated fat in your diet, make the following substitutions:
|Butter||Light or diet margarine|
|Regular cheese||Low-fat or nonfat cheese|
|Creamer or half & half||Nonfat creamer or nonfat half & half|
|Whole or 2% milk||1% or nonfat (skim) milk|
|Cream cheese||Reduced fat or nonfat cream cheese|
|Regular ice cream||Nonfat or low-fat frozen yogurt or sorbet|
|2-4% milk fat cottage cheese||1% or nonfat cottage cheese|
|Alfredo or other cream sauces||Marinara, primavera or olive-oil based sauce|
|Mayonnaise||Light or nonfat mayonnaise|
|Kebabs||Lean cuts of meat (meat portions with fat removed)|
|Chicken with skin on||Chicken without skin|
|Whole egg||Egg whites or egg substitutes|
Limiting cholesterol in foods is another important step to cholesterol control and stroke management, and can be achieved by:
Eating too much sodium may cause you to retain fluids and increase your blood pressure. Not adding salt to foods at the table is one way to cut down on your sodium, but it isn't enough.
Cut down on sodium (salt) by following these tips:
Definitions of sodium content in foods are as follows:
Most health professionals limit persons with a history of heart disease or stroke to 2,000mg each day. However, if you have high blood pressure, it is strongly recommended that you limit your sodium to 1,500mg daily. Talk with your doctor to determine what your sodium level should be.
As part of a heart-healthy diet, fiber can reduce cholesterol and your overall risk for cardiovascular disease.
Another important strategy to reducing your risk of a stroke is to achieve a healthy body weight. Watching your portion sizes, eating foods high in fiber and low in fat, avoiding fad diets, increasing your activity, and keeping track of your eating habits are all ways to achieve a healthy body weight. Keep in mind that weight loss does not happen overnight, so establish realistic short and long-term goals from the start. For further assistance in making these significant lifestyle changes toward healthier eating do not hesitate to ask your physician to refer you to a registered clinical dietitian.
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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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