Eating Well After a Stroke

Eating Well After a Stroke

Part 1

Eating well after a stroke is key to recovery. Choosing healthy foods can help control blood pressure, body weight, reduce a person’s risk of having another stroke, and may help with the demands of stroke therapy and other daily activities.

Preventing another stroke and staying healthy can be achieved when you take appropriate steps to control your weight and blood pressure. Making healthy food choices is a major step in the right direction, and you can enhance the impact diet plays in your risk by meeting with a registered dietitian. A dietitian can teach you how to prepare and plan meals and snacks to enhance your health.

Eating Well After a Stroke

This educational tool is provided to get you started on the road to recovery. No two people have the same results; therefore, incorporate these healthy eating strategies with frequent check-ups with your physician and proper administration of prescribed medications.

Food groups within MyPlate

  • Grains: Make sure at least half of your choices from this group come from whole grains.
  • Vegetables: Choose often nutrient-rich dark green and orange vegetables and remember to regularly eat dried beans and peas.
  • Fruits: Eat a variety of fresh, frozen or dried fruits each day.
  • Dairy: Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods, or a variety of non-dairy calcium-rich foods each day.
  • Protein: Choose low-fat or lean meats, poultry; and remember to vary your choices with more beans, peas, nuts, seeds and fish sources. In terms of fats, make most of your fat sources from fish, nuts and vegetable oils. Limit fat sources from butter, stick margarine, shortening or lard.

For more information on MyPlate, visit the USDA’s interactive website at

Ten strategies to reduce your risk of a stroke

(1) Eat a variety of foods each day

Because no single food can provide our bodies with all of the nutrients we need for good health, choose a variety of foods each day. Incorporating a variety of foods as suggested by the MyPlate Food Guide is a great way to get started.

(2) Eat a rainbow of colorful foods at each meal

In order to reap the health-protective nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, its important to choose a variety of colorful foods at each meal. Go for a rainbow approach by choosing an array of fruits, vegetables and legumes – dark reds, oranges, vibrant yellows, deep greens, blues and purples. By choosing a rainbow of color you’ll be sure to take in a wide range of nutrients.

(3) Choose 5 or more cups of fruits and vegetables each day

Research shows that the best way to reap the benefits of a healthy diet is to bump up your fruits and vegetables. So, in addition to steps 1 and 2, make sure you eat a minimum of 5 servings each day.

One serving of vegetable is equal to:

  • 1 cup raw or leafy vegetable
  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  • 6 ounces vegetable juice

One serving of fruit is equal to:

  • 1 medium sized (tennis ball size) piece of fruit
  • 1 4-inch banana
  • ½ cup fruit cocktail, in own juice
  • ½ grapefruit
  • 1 cup diced melon or berries
  • 2 Tbsp dried fruit
  • 4 ounces 100% fruit juice

(4) Read food labels

Reading food labels is a great way to learn more about the foods you are eating. By law, most foods must have nutritional information listed in a standard way. When selecting foods for reducing your risk of stroke, focus on the following information on the food label for each serving:

Once you get used to reading food labels, you’ll become a healthier shopper.


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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 9/5/2014…#13486