One of the first things to fix after being warned about the possibility of having a stroke (again) is food. Everyone knows that food is important, but a lot of people don’t take proper nutrition seriously because ”one unhealthy meal won’t kill me”. Except one unhealthy meal becomes two, two becomes three, and suddenly you are eating it daily and it does kill you without warning.
When we learn why eating healthy is important, we start doing it more carefully. Food is a source of energy needed for activity, growth, digesting, keeping warm, repairing the body and keeping the immune system healthy.
We highly advise you to consult with your doctor and nutritionist to make sure you are having an adequate and balanced diet. This allows you to create a plan with your dietary preferences and needs while including all the particular food and supplements needed for your recovery.
One thing all nutritionists agree on is that meal planning and prepping help you control what you eat in portions that are healthy for you. This reduces impulse eating of unhealthy food in bigger portions.
So before we get into what foods you should avoid in your meal preparation, we should explain some of the terms we used in this blog post. Don’t worry, we don’t use complicated medical terminology here!
Cholesterol is a substance found in our blood that builds healthy cells. When levels of cholesterol are high, you develop fatty deposits in your blood which grow over time, making it difficult for blood to flow through arteries. Clogged arteries lead to heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can be inherited but is usually a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. It can be treated by exercising and improving your diet and medication.
Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat found in high amounts in foods like butter, cheese, red meat, palm, and coconut oils. When consumed, they raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Blood pressure is the measurement of the pressure or force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls. Hypertension or high blood pressure is when the pressure against the blood vessel walls is high. You can learn more about its dedicated blog post.Trans fat is a very dangerous type of fat because it increases inflammation in the body. Research shows that increased inflammation in the body is linked to increased stroke risk and many other serious, life-threatening diseases. What it does is it raises LDL ( bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL (good cholesterol). It is also associated with a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Trans fat is considered the worst type of fat to eat.
Salt technically can’t be avoided, it’s in every meal and product we eat. Much of it is ‘hidden’ in processed food like chips, go-to meals, and fast food. But when we eat big amounts of processed salt, our body produces and stores more water, which leads to higher blood pressure and increases the odds of a stroke. However, compared to processed salt or table salt, many experts recommend pink salt as one of the healthiest you can have. Research shows that adults shouldn’t eat more than 6g of salt which is around 1 tablespoon.
Chocolate bars, cakes, sodas, extra sweet coffees with artificial flavors – who can say no to l addictive sweets that all age groups enjoy. However, you should limit them or avoid them together since they are high in trans fat. Sugar is even in foods that don’t seem sugary and sweet. So read labels carefully and choose an option with a lower percentage of sugar. Excessive sugar intake over time results in increased fatty deposits and clots which damage blood vessels. By cutting off the blood supply – causing a stroke. Did you know that diabetics are almost 2 times more likely to have a stroke than people who don’t have diabetes?
We all know that alcohol is bad for us for a multitude of reasons, yet almost everyone drinks it. Matter of fact, being drunk has almost the same symptoms as having a stroke. Symptoms such as difficulty speaking, impaired vision, fatigue, and lack of balance. So, if you have had a stroke, your symptoms may be worsened by alcohol. What consistent alcohol drinking does is that it elevates blood pressure, makes it harder to control blood sugar levels. And increases your weight and chances of developing Atrial fibrillation (AF) – a condition where your heart beats fast and out of rhythm. All of these increase your chance of having a stroke. After a stroke, consult with your doctor if and when can you drink alcohol, and how much of it can you drink.
Packaged and fried food
Unfortunately, fast food has become a part of our daily lives. Because it is easily accessible everywhere you are – a cheap and tasty meal. It’s easy to get hooked, but did you know that one regular hamburger from a fast-food franchise has 18 separate additives? They are everywhere on the menu, even in the ”healthy options” like salads and chicken. But is junk food only found in restaurant franchises? No! Processed food like chips, crackers, and go-to meals contain a lot of trans fat. As well and can be bought in stores. This type of food contributes to weight gain and high cholesterol, which leads to blocked arteries.
Eating steaks, sausages, and other red meats are a staple in many people’s diets. But an elderly person who eats red meat is more likely to have an ischemic stroke. Because they are high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium which cause blockages in blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. Dr. Stephen Hu, a world-renowned cardiologist, says that people who want red meat in their diet should have it only once or twice per week in a portion of 30g /1 ounce. One of the big issues of processed red meats is also that people don’t really know which part of the animal they are eating. Dr. Hu recommends buying loins or sirloins that are hormone-free, organic, or free-range.
We hope you liked our list of all the foods to avoid. Whether you have had a stroke or simply looking on improving your overall health.
Motus Health recognizes the importance of having proper nutrition. So we have partnered up with our nutritionists to create recipes with healthy foods to show that a balanced diet can be fun!
Also, one of many features in our app Motus is a segment Nutrition. Where you will be able to create your perfect meal plan.
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