Plant-Based Diet Tied to Lower Stroke Risk, But Only if You Stick to Healthy Foods

Not all vegetarian diets are created equal when it comes to lowering the risk of stroke. If you follow a plant-based diet to promote brain health, you need to load up on things like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables — and steer clear of refined grains and added sugars and fats, according to a study published in March 2021 in Neurology.

For the study, researchers examined data on more than 200,000 U.S. adults who were followed for more than 25 years and completed questionnaires about their health and eating habits every two to four years. During the follow-up period, researchers documented a total of 6,241 stroke cases.

Researchers scored participants’ diets based on the healthfulness of plant-based foods they ate. They classified people as vegetarians if they consumed no more than one serving of meat or fish per month.

Being vegetarian didn’t appear to influence the risk of stroke, the study found.

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