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Sustainable diet lowers stroke risk

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Eating a sustainable diet lowers the risk of bleeding and blood clots in the brain, new research has found.

The research, published in the journal Stroke, was conducted in collaboration with the Danish Cancer Society.

Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark used data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health population study.

A total of 57,053 adults aged 50 to 64 took part in the study in the early 1990s and answered questions about their lifestyles and eating habits.

The researchers used the Danish registers to identify participants who developed bleeding and blood clots in the brain over the following years.

Overall, participants who followed the sustainable and mostly plant-based EAT-Lancet diet were at lower risk of subarachnoid haemorrhage.

Meanwhile, the Alternate Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI) was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke and intracerebral haemorrhage.

Christina Dahm, who led the study, said:

“If adult men or women follow a sustainable diet and the Nordic recommendations for dietary fibre intake, then we see a lower risk of bleeding or blood clots in the brain.

“The food we eat has a crucial influence on our health, but also affects our climate and the environment.

“We need to eat more sustainably, but of course it’s important that we also have a healthy diet.”

Contributor Daniel Ibsen added:

“A vegetarian diet is very similar to a sustainable diet, and since we need to eat more sustainably in the future, it was a rather worrying result. Our results show that it is safe to eat a sustainable diet.”

Dahm believes that the study should be followed up in the context of Denmark’s dietary habits, which contain more sustainable foods like oat milk and plant-based meat alternatives.

A 2021 study published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology found that eating a healthy plant-based diet could decrease ischemic stroke risk by up to 10 per cent.

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