Stroke: Weight loss expert shares her six golden rules to reduce your risk of a stroke
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Carolyn Pallister has got six golden rules people need to live their life by in order to reduce their risk of a stroke. What are they? Find out here.
“Every five minutes stroke destroys lives,” she says. “In the UK, there are more than 100,000 incidents of stroke each year.”
She added that “many stroke survivors face significant challenges” following the traumatic ordeal.
This can range from “physical disability, communication difficulties, changes in how they think and feel”.
Moreover, people may be unable to work, which consequently leads to a loss of income and social networks.
“Being overweight is one of the top 10 risk factors for stroke,” Carolyn asserted.
She explained: “Carrying excess weight increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.”
All of these health conditions contribute to a person’s risk of having a stroke.
“Maintaining a healthy weight can in turn reduce stroke risk,” she clarified.
The six golden rules
1. A varied, balanced diet
“This means limiting saturated fat, which is found in: butter, cakes, pastry, and fatty strips of meat,” she advises.
It also means reducing “added sugar intake” and focusing on a “variety of fruits and vegetables”.
Carolyn urges people to be eating “at least five” portions of fruit and vegetables each day, and whole grains.
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Examples of wholegrain include brown rice and wholewheat pasta, which will be clearly labelled on the packaging.
2. Be mindful of your salt intake
“Too much salt can raise your blood pressure,” Carolyn explained. “There’s often a lot of hidden salt in ready-made sauces and ready meals.”
To counter this, Carolyn recommends “making homemade sauces and meals” to reduce your salt intake.
“Try to limit having too much bread, cheese, smoked fish and meat, pickles and condiments and enjoy them in moderation.”
3. Be active
“Make the most of the great outdoors,” she adds, and “home exercises” – “housework counts” she stresses.
“Physical activity helps keep the heart healthy, which in turn can help protect against a stroke.”
4. Drink in moderation
“It’s better for our health to enjoy alcohol in moderation,” she says. “Aim to drink no more than six pints of beer or cider each week.”
For those more into their glasses of red, white or rosé, Carolyn suggests less than “six 175ml glasses of wine” per week.
5. A healthy weight
“This is one of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of having a stroke,” she assures.
This is because it means your “cardiovascular system is healthier and is under less stress.”
6. Fibre-rich foods
“his fabulous nutrient is found in all fruit, veg and starchy carbohydrates,” she says.
Examples of starchy carbohydrates include: potatoes, rice, pasta, oats, beans, peas and lentils.
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