The Study Is Out: Animal Proteins and Strokes
Now that we’ve discussed carotid Doppler, CT angiography and MR angiography, here’s a reminder that we are advocates for an ounce of prevention over a pound of cure. Preventing vascular disease is much better than detecting it!
According to a recent analysis of seven health studies, one of the best ways to fight stroke is by a healthy diet (pause to act surprised here). One key to that healthy diet is lean animal protein (okay, you’re allowed to be surprised now).
The study showed that as lean protein intake increases, stroke risk decreases. This study included over 250,000 patients but was focused on those living in countries where unsaturated, lean proteins like fish are popular. Those who ate 20 additional grams of protein a day had a 26% lower risk of stroke. What is behind the reduced risk is less well-understood. Likely, there are multiple factors involved. For instance, a protein-rich diet can also naturally include extra nutrients like potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber, all of which may be stroke deterrents.
We should not take this study to mean increase your protein intake without considering the type or quality of the protein -lean animal protein seems to be the key here. While the occasional steak or hamburger is acceptable, increasing your daily dietary intake of these type proteins will not yield the same results seen in this study.
The long and the short of it is this: a careful diet is good for you; proteins, including lean animal proteins, seem to help with reducing stroke risk. For further reading, there are articles summarizing the findings here and here.
For your best vascular health, don’t smoke, keep cholesterol and glucose levels healthy, and consider a diet focused on healthy lean proteins.
Image credit: Copper River sockeye smoked salmon mit salat und crumpet 07.04.2012 20-30-53 by Dirk Franke via Wikimedia Commons Copyright Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Originally published 6/18/14 on diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com.