It's Not Rocket Science folks - and yet a major study is out today that says that people whose diets are heavy on deep-fried foods and sugary drinks like sweet tea and soda are more likely candidates for serious health consequences - in this case, a stroke. In a federally funded study (funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, drugmaker Amgen, Inc. and General Mills Inc.) and presented at an American Stroke Assocation conference yesterday, University of Alabama researchers in what is being called the FIRST study completely isolated on diet and stroke found that people who ate about 6 meals a week featuring fried foods, processed meats, and sugary drinks had a 41 percent higher risk than people who ate that way only about once a month. In contrast, people whose diets were high in FRUITS, VEGETABLES, and WHOLE GRAINS had a 29 percent lower risk. Lead researcher Suzanne Judd said that "the message for people in the middle is that there's a graded risk" - meaning that the likelihood of suffering a stroke rises in proportion to each meal like this referred to as a "Southern Meal" in a week.
Interestingly, the study surveyed 20,000 people ages 45 and older from all 48 mainland states and sorted responses about diet into five diet styles. Two of them were referred to as "Southern" and "Plant Based".
Southern - Fried foods, processed meats (lunch meat, jerky), red meat, eggs, sweet drinks and whole mil
Plant-based - Fruits, Vegetables, Juice, Cereal, Fish, Poultry, yogurt, nuts, and whole grain bread
For 5 years of follow-ups after the survey, nearly 500 strokes in the respondents occurred. Of the 5 diet styles, researchers only saw clear patterns with these two dietary styles (Southern and Plant-Based). As mentioned above, 41% more strokes occurred in those who ate the highest amount of foods in the Souther Diet versus those occurring in the survey portion who ate the least amount of those types of food and 29% fewer strokes occurred in the the group of those who ate the highest amount of foods in the plant-based grouping compared with the people who seldom at that way. Researchers say that the trends were completely independent of other risk factors for stroke.
One MORE reason to eat a diet that is highly plant-based and whole-food and stay away from those items in the "Southern" dietary style. Again, I'm not a Rocket Scientist but the evidence is pretty clear - want to be healthier, live longer, and avoid being the sufferer of a significant negative health event like a stroke - eat healther!!