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Western Diets Cause Strokes

The western diet consisting of processed foods, red meat, food additives, refined carbohydrates, soft drinks, snack foods, and fried foods causes strokes. A study highlighted in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association favors a diet consisting more of fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains as it helps protect you against strokes. The western diet causes metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of a stroke.

The American diet not only can cause strokes but also can result in cancer, diabetes, or other chronic diseases. Dietary modification would help people maintain better health and avoid strokes. The experiment done on women indicated that those women who followed the Western diet were more likely to smoke, be less active, and were less likely to take vitamins. Women who ate the Western diet and had hypertension had more than three times the risk of strokes caused due to blockages as compared to those who followed the Western diet but had no hypertension.

A western diet can cause metabolic syndrome in a person and he or she can suffer from high levels of blood triglycerides (blood fat), high blood pressure, an increase in fasting blood glucose, and lower levels of HDL cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome can increase the risk of a heart attack and also of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Lack of exercise, weight gain, and excessive calories cause the condition. The Western diet had a risk of causing metabolic syndrome, but those who eat sensibly had less chance of suffering from it.

Hamburgers, processed meat, and hot dogs can cause metabolic syndrome.  Saturated fats found in meat raised blood pressure, cholesterol and chances of developing diabetes. Fried foods were also not good. Sugary drinks were not linked up to the diet but diet soft drinks were. Dairy products helped protect a person from the syndrome; the chance of an increase in blood pressure and the risk of diabetes was lowered. As obesity cases increase, the chances of metabolic syndrome increase, leading to more strokes.

What are the specific dietary controls?

  • Lose excessive weight. This reduces blood pressure and fasting blood glucose and raises HDL cholesterol. Exercise can prevent obesity.
  • Eat less meat. If you are eating red meat, then choose lean meat from flank steak, sirloin, or tenderloin, and limit it to 90 grams a day.
  • Limit fatty foods.
  • Chose low-fat dairy products. Low fat milk and yogurt provide calcium and magnesium. These minerals help normalize blood pressure and regulate blood sugar.
  • Eat whole grains. It helps in regulating blood pressure, controls body weight, lowers the risk of diabetes, and increases HDL cholesterol. Some whole grains can be found in bread, cereals, pasta, and brown rice.
  • A Mediterranean diet will increase the intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, fish, and olive oil. These items help you to lose weight, control your blood pressure, and improve your blood vessel functioning.
  • Eat plenty of fruits.
  • Consume a lot of vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, and carotenoid vegetables, such as pumpkin and carrots.
  • Avoid fried foods.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is preferred compared to the regular Western diet of red meat, processed foods, and junk food. This would prevent metabolic syndrome and reduce the chances of strokes. Eat sensibly and stay in good health.

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