Previous studies have found how sleep and exercise can affect consumers’ risk of stroke, but a new study conducted by the European Society of Cardiology explored what role consumers’ diets played in their stroke risk.
The researchers learned that different types of foods could increase the risk for different types of strokes, and consumers should be mindful of their diets.
“Our study also highlights the importance of examining stroke subtypes separately, as the dietary associations differ for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, and is consistent with other evidence, which shows that other risk factors, such as cholesterol levels or obesity, also influence the two stroke subtypes differently,” said researcher Dr. Tammy Tong.
Stroke risk and diet
The researchers had over 418,000 people from nine European countries participate in the study. They all shared information about their typical diets and their health records, and the researchers followed up with them after nearly 13 years.
The study assessed most food groups, including: fruits and vegetables, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds, meat, fish, eggs, dietary fiber, and cereal. In terms of results, three food groups stood out among the others: fruits and vegetables, dietary fiber, and eggs.
“The most important finding is that higher consumption of both dietary fibre and fruits and vegetables was strongly associated with lower risks of ischaemic stroke, which supports current European guidelines,” Dr. Tong said. “The general public should be recommended to increase their fibre and fruit and vegetable consumption, if they are not already meeting these guidelines.”
Making those dietary changes could mean a lot for consumers’ health. The study found that participants’ risk of ischaemic stroke went down 13 percent for every 200g of fruits and vegetables they consumed. Similarly, they reduced their risk of ischaemic stroke by 23 percent with every 10g of fiber they incorporated into their diets.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the researchers found reason for consumers to limit their egg consumption. Eating more than 20g of eggs per day can increase the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke by 25 percent.
While the researchers explained that there is no cause and effect relationship between these foods and the risk of any type of stroke, it’s still important for consumers to know what role their diet can play in their health, as the associations that developed from this study were significant.