Reducing the risk of stroke with healthy eating

To reduce your risk of having a stroke you should aim to follow a healthy balanced diet.

The principles are based on the Mediterranean diet approach.  

A traditional Mediterranean diet includes a variety of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, fish, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds, some dairy products and plant oils and less red/processed meat, saturated fat, salt and sugar.

To help reduce your risk of stroke:

  • Aim to have at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
Healthy mix of fruit, vegetables, meat and pulses
  • Starchy foods should make up one third of your daily diet. Choose wholegrain options of breads, cereals, rice, pasta, grains and chapattis.
  • Aim to include one portion of protein at every meal such as fish, pulses, nuts and seeds, lean meat and meat alternatives. A portion size is approximately the size of the palm of your hand.
  • Reduce full-fat milk, cream, cheese and fatty meat, processed meats and solid fats like butter, margarine, ghee and coconut oil. Choose lower fat versions instead.
  • Limit salt to less than a teaspoon a day (6g). Salt is often found in ready-made and processed foods.

In the video below Marie Price, a Public Health Dietician for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, explains the principles of the Eatwell guide. 

Some of this advice above may not be suitable for you if you are experiencing swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) or weight loss. If you have been diagnosed with dysphagia and/or are experiencing unintentional weight loss, then please use this form to request a referral to a dietitian for individual advice and support.

More support

If you would like more support with your diet, or if you would like help with managing your weight (either if you are underweight or overweight), then please ask your GP or Stroke team to refer you to a dietitian for individual advice.

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