Nutrition Tips for Stroke Survivors


Nutrition Tips for Stroke Survivors

Healthy food habits can help you reduce three risk factors for stroke — poor cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and excess weight. Diets high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels. Diets high in salt can contribute to increased blood pressure, and high-calorie diets can contribute to obesity. A diet with five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day may reduce the risk of stroke.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association offers these recommendations for a healthy diet:fruits

To Get the Nutrition You Need

Some stroke survivors have a loss of appetite. For others, eating may be difficult due to swallowing problems or limited hand or arm movement. In any case, talk to your healthcare team to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need. To make eating a little easier again, try these steps:

  • Choose healthy foods with stronger flavors, such as broiled fish and citrus fruits. Also, spices add flavor to food and serve as a good substitute for salt.
  • Choose colorful, visually appealing foods, such as salmon, carrots and dark green vegetables.
  • Cut foods into small pieces to make them easier to chew.
  • Pick softer, easier-to-chew foods, such as yogurt, bananas, whole-grain hot cereals and soups.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, talk to your speech therapist or doctor. This condition can be treated.
  • If weakness in arms or hands is a problem, you might try adaptive eating utensils. Some types of flatware have thicker handles that are easier to hold, and “rocker knives” make it possible to cut food using one hand.

Making Mealtime Easier

When stroke survivors have lost their appetites, caregivers can help by:

  • Sharing meals with the survivor at regular times during the day.
  • Setting a leisurely pace for the meal.
  • Serving foods that the survivor wants.
  • Encouraging healthy snacks or small meals throughout the day.
  • Reducing distractions during meals.
  • Watching for any problems the survivor may have with chewing or swallowing.
Food For Thought
A heart-healthy diet is also good for your brain. Learn why.

Cooking for Health
What you eat and how you prepare it can help reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. The right diet can help control your cholesterol levels and blood pressure and can help you feel better and have more energy. 

Nourishing Good Eating Habits
For many stroke survivors, loss of appetite is a common problem. Even when appetite isn't affected, other challenges can make getting the proper nutrition seem like a chore. But a healthy diet is an important part of recovery, and it helps reduce the risk of another stroke.

How many calories can I save? 
30 easy-to-make trade-offs that cut about 100 or 150 calories out of your diet every time you choose them.

Heart-Healthy Grocery Shopping Made Simple
Create your free, heart-healthy grocery list with our Grocery List Builder.

Deliciously Healthy Recipes

Spanish Tacos

Learn how easy it is to prepare deliciously healthy recipes at home. We've created low-salt, low-cholesterol and even diabetic-friendly recipes. 
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Stroke Connection: Survivor in the Senate

Stroke Connection Spring 2014 Cover
 
Your Spring issue of Stroke Connection features the story of Senator Mark Kirk’s stroke and the recovery journey that put him back on Capitol Hill. Also in this issue: Uncommon causes of stroke and survivors who’ve had them; A mother’s stroke sets the course for her 10-year-old’s life; and much more!