Preventing risk of another stroke: healthy cooking tips

mid section view of a woman cutting vegetables

Your diet is an important part of your lifestyle after a stroke. Eating the right kinds of foods may help you feel better and get stronger. A well balanced diet helps your body build tissues that may have been harmed and also gives you energy. A low-salt, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet can help prevent a recurrent stroke. People with high blood pressure should limit the amount of salt they eat. Those with high cholesterol or hardening of the arteries should avoid foods containing high levels of saturated fats (i.e., animal fats). These diet controls can enhance the benefits of the drugs which may have been prescribed for control of a specific condition.

Here are some useful cooking tips to help you cook in a healthy style.

  • Fill your grocery cart with a variety of lean meats and low-fat dairy products, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables.
  • Use cooking methods like roasting, baking, broiling, grilling, braising, sautéing, stir-frying and microwaving to help retain vitamins and minerals and keep fat and calories down.
  • Choose cooking oils that contain 2 grams or less of saturated fat per teaspoon, such as safflower, soybean, corn, canola and olive oil. Choose liquid or soft-tub margarine and oil-based salad dressing.
  • Baste meats and poultry with fat-free ingredients, such as wine, fruit juice or defatted beef or chicken broth.
  • Use chopped vegetables as a substitute for some of the bread when you make stuffing.
  • Add a few drops of lemon juice to the water you cook pasta in, and eliminate the salt and oil.
  • Cut down on saturated fat in creamy salad dressings by mixing in some nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt.
  • In most recipes, one egg white and a little acceptable vegetable oil will substitute well for a whole egg. Egg whites contain no cholesterol and are rich in protein.
  • Fruits that are fresh or canned in water have fewer calories than fruits in juice or syrup. Drain fruits canned in syrup.

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, your doctor may have special recommendations.

The American Stroke Association
Beth Abraham: Family of Health Services
National Stroke Association

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