Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reducing stroke risk with diet - what's the latest?

You are, the old saying says, what you eat.

Several years ago, that line was used to promote a low-fat diet. The reasoning was that if you eat fat, you'll get fat. Then came Dr. Atkins, high-fat, low-carb diets. Then more refined (and often fad) diets - high protein, low fat, low carbs, no sugar, paleo, vegan, etc. Eggs were bad, now are good. Milk was good and now, supposedly, is bad.

I still drink milk, however.

The latest target is sugar. But like fat, will we find out that certain sugars are good for you, while others are bad? When I had my stroke fat was bad. Then fish oil (aka fat) became good for you and now we buy Omega 3 pills. So will experts someday identify a sugar called, say, Ceti Alpha 5, that's good for you while other sugars are bad?

We're getting more sophisticated in our diets, to be sure. So read today how a study shows that a Mediterranean diet is linked to lower stroke risk:
A diet high in vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats and low in meat, dairy, and sugar was associated with up to 18% lower ischemic stroke risk, Ayesha Sherzai, MD, a stroke neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City , and colleagues found. The more closely the women followed the diet, the lower their risk of ischemic stroke, even after researchers adjusted for potential confounders like physical activity, smoking status, and cardiovascular risk factors.
"With stroke being one of the biggest disease burdens in the U.S. and throughout the world, and treatments not being as extensive as we would like them to be, diet is a risk factor that people can control," Sherzai said.


J.L. Murphey said...

I've always favored the Mediterranean diet personally. Either that or south beach.

Jeff Porter said...

This diet does make a lot of sense, with minimal wasted calories.