It's important to have a healthy, balanced diet to support your recovery after a stroke.
Even making small changes to what you eat can help you to stay at a healthy weight, control diabetes and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, reducing your risk of another stroke.
Kelly Fortune, Nutritionist for our partner, Wiltshire Farm Foods, shares some tips for eating a balanced diet.
Monitor your saturated fat intake
Saturated fat increases your blood cholesterol levels. Choose foods that have a green or amber traffic light for saturated fat on their label. Rather than full fat, opt for lower fat options in products such as yoghurts and milk.
Limit your salt intake to no more than 6g per day
Eating too much salt can increase your blood pressure and risk of stroke. Over three quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we have bought, so try not to add extra salt to your meals during cooking or at the table. Try and select foods that have a green or amber traffic light for salt on their food label.
Increase your fruit and vegetable intake
Try to base at least a third of each meal on fruit and vegetables. You may have heard the saying, 'Eat a rainbow', which means eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables to get the best nutritional benefits that the different colours can provide.
Choose wholegrain where you can
Ensure a third of your diet is made up of starchy foods, such as bread, pasta and potatoes.
Cut down on alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. Visit drinkaware.co.uk for the government guidelines on safe levels of drinking, tools to help you calculate your units and advice on how to reduce or stop drinking.
Speak to your speech and language therapist to see if a texture modified meal might be the best option for you. Read our 'Swallowing problems after stroke' guide for more information.
Get more information about healthy eating and stroke.
Wiltshire Farm Foods offer a variety of healthy meals that can be delivered straight to your door, including a softer food range for people with swallowing problems. Visit wiltshirefarmfoods.com to find out more. Use SN5OFF for £5 off your first order of £24.99.
(Terms and conditions - Must be a new customer. Offer expires 31 December 2022.)
Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the winter 2022 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.