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Bulat Shcherbakov
Bulat Shcherbakov


Eating well after a stroke is key to recovery. Choosing healthy foods can help regulate blood pressure, body weight, reduce a person's risk of having another stroke, and may help with the demands of stroke therapy and other daily activities.


Preventing another stroke and staying healthy can be achieved when you take appropriate steps to manage 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.

Research shows that the best way to reap 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 5 servings each day.

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:

However, too much cholesterol in your blood can increase your risk of stroke and heart disease. High levels of blood cholesterol are the result of two factors: how much cholesterol your body makes, how much fat and cholesterol is in the food you eat, and the kind of fat you eat.

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.

Choose the following substitutions to limit the trans fat in your diet. Look for foods that are labeled trans fat free or those that use liquid vegetable oils instead of hydrogenated ones in their ingredients.

Most health professionals limit persons with high blood pressure or a history of heart disease or stroke to 1,500 milligrams each day. 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. Dietary fiber is the part of plants the body cannot digest. As it passes through your body it affects the way your body digests foods and absorbs nutrients. How much fiber you eat affects not only your cholesterol level and risk for stroke, but may have other health benefits: helps regulate blood sugar, promotes regularity, prevents gastrointestinal disease and helps in weight management.

The best sources of dietary fiber are raw or cooked fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, and legumes (e.g., dried beans, lentils, split peas). Refined foods like soda, fruit juice, white bread and pasta and enriched cereals are low in dietary fiber. The refining process strips the outer coat (called the bran) from the grain, lowering the fiber content.

Substituting enriched, white pasta and rice and other refined foods with whole-grain varieties is a great way to boost dietary fiber intake and help to prevent blood sugar fluctuations throughout the day. This, in turn, helps keep you feeling satisfied and can help prevent sudden cravings for sweets or other quick-sugar foods later in the day. The end result: weight management.

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.

Excess intake of added sugar is associated with hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia, which are all risk factors for stroke. Examples of added sugar are white sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, jelly, jam, and sweetened drinks. MyPlate suggests lowering your intake of added sugar by using products less often or by decreasing the amount you use.

Adequate dietary potassium intake is necessary in order to maintain proper heart function. However, most adults do not consume enough potassium. Potassium is abundant in fruit, vegetables, and milk products. Therefore, if you consume recommended amounts of these food groups, you should achieve an adequate intake of potassium. Good fruit choices include bananas, apricots, oranges, cantaloupe, and apples. High-potassium vegetables include potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, zucchini, and tomatoes.

In the wake of a stroke, many things about your life may be different, including your diet. Changing the way you eat can help reduce your risk of having another stroke. A healthy diet will also ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to support neurological and physical healing.

Another risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure, and salt is directly related to high blood pressure, according to the AHA. The AHA recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day, and that can add up quickly, especially if you eat a lot of prepackaged foods or processed meats. Opting for whole foods over processed foods and seasoning meals with herbs, spices, or citrus instead of salt, is a good way to cut back on sodium intake.

Adjusting the way you live in order to stay healthy is important, though not everybody is willing or able to. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, while women are more likely to make lifestyle changes following a stroke or major cardiac event, only one quarter of men are likely to. The study also found that patients in urban areas were more likely to make a minimum of two changes to their lifestyle to prevent subsequent cardiac events than those who resided in rural areas.

After a stroke, maintaining healthy habits can be challenging. There may be a risk of poor nutrition or failing to take in enough nutrients via eating and drinking, leading to unhealthy weight loss and slowing your ability to recover. Poor nutrition can be brought on through a variety of stroke complications. It is common to experience neurological symptoms such as dysphagia or difficulty swallowing, as well as limited arm and hand movement, which may limit your ability to use eating utensils like knives and forks. Cognitive deficiencies may also interfere with your ability to eat properly by causing you to forget to do so at regular intervals. Stroke may also affect the part of the brain responsible for appetite, reducing your desire to eat.

It is important to consume a diet low in fat and sodium and high in fruits and vegetables to avoid risk factors for another stroke, such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, and body fat. It is also possible that some foods may interact poorly with medications you begin taking after suffering a stroke, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before beginning a new nutrition program. One helpful tool to get started on your new nutrition plan is the website, which is designed to help you determine your energy and nutrient needs, track them, and help you succeed while on the road to recovery. Each patient has different requirements, therefore it is important to consult with your doctor about your eating habits on a frequent basis.

You can add variety to your meals by picking vegetarian protein sources that include beans, peas, nuts, and seeds, which have the added benefit of providing healthy fats like omega-3s. If you are going to rely on vegetarian protein sources, be sure to check with a dietitian to learn how to pair them together so that you are getting all of the essential amino acids.

A healthy diet plays a vital role in your recovery after having a stroke. Getting the proper amounts of required nutrients each day can help maintain energy levels and reduce risk factors for another stroke or cardiac event. For this reason, it is important to reduce your intake of sodium, saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugars, as well as make sure that your are getting plenty of fruits and vegetables. These steps can help mitigate the occurrence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and an unhealthy body-fat level, thereby reducing your overall risk for stroke in the future.

We undertook this 12-month retrospective cohort study, of 186 teaching hospital inpatients, to determine how tolerance of differing diet textures after a stroke predicts recovery from dysphagia. Outcome measures were insertion of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube and/or ability to tolerate a normal diet 28 days after the stroke. Likelihood ratios for needing a PEG were highest for intolerance of pureed food. People who tolerated grade 1 fluids (300-600 cP) or thinner, or who tolerated a modified soft diet or better, 7 days after the stroke did not need a PEG. Half (13/26) the people who could not tolerate grade 3 thickened fluids (10,000-12,000 cP) and 52% (13/25) of people who could not tolerate a puree diet 14 days after the stroke needed a PEG. No one who was intolerant of grade 2 thickened fluids (4000-7000 cP) 7 or 14 days after the stroke could tolerate a normal diet and fluids by day 28. If people were tolerating grade 3 thickened fluids at day 7, the proportion tolerating a normal diet at day 28 was 36%. We present similar data for tolerance of differing fluids and diets at each of the measured time points. We suggest a PEG should be considered in people unable to tolerate grade 3 thickened fluids or a puree diet 14 days after their stroke. However, even in these groups, half will recover sufficiently to manage oral feeding.

Getting proper nutrition is vital for stroke recovery, but many stroke patients struggle with eating. This may be due to appetite loss, problems moving arms and hands, trouble remembering when to eat, and difficulty with chewing and swallowing. If your loved one has recently had a stroke, following these diet and nutrition tips may aid their recovery. This article tackles how to make sure your loved one eats, including recipe tips for soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow, diet pointers for stroke patients with diabetes, and supplements for stroke recovery. 041b061a72


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