Blacks are 50 percent more likely to develop a stroke and Black men are 70 percent more likely to die from a stroke, but new research suggests that a change to your diet may decrease your risk. People who get their dietary fat from olive oil rather than steak may help reduce their risk of suffering a stroke, a preliminary study suggests.
The study, of more than 100,000 health professionals, found that those who favored vegetable oils and other plant foods as their source of fat generally had a lower risk of stroke over the years.
Overall, the 20% of people with the highest intake of vegetable fats had a 12% lower risk of suffering a stroke over 27 years, compared to people with the lowest intake of those fats.
On the other end of the spectrum were people who got much of their dietary fat from meat. The 20% with the highest intake of those fats were 16% more likely to suffer a stroke, compared to the 20% with the lowest intake.
Many studies have looked at the relationship between dietary fat and stroke risk. This one focused on the food sources of that fat, lead researcher Fenglei Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston says.
And the findings, he notes, favor replacing beef fat with vegetable oils like olive, soybean or corn.
Why you should get dietary fat from plants
She said overall diet quality is the key, and not any single nutrient.
“People who eat a lot of vegetable fats are probably doing many other things, too — like eating fruits and vegetables, exercising and not smoking,” Lichtenstein says.
The study did account for many of those variables to arrive at its figures regarding dietary fat. And, Lichtenstein says, the negative health effects of saturated fat likely account for some of the higher stroke risk among red meat fans. (In contrast, people who favored plant-based fats probably ate little saturated fat.)
But the point remains that people should focus on their whole diet. “I think we still have a