Preventing Strokes with Diet

Preventing Strokes with Diet
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Increasing the intake of potassium-rich foods is associated with a significantly lower stroke risk.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A review of all the best studies ever done on potassium intake, and its relationship to two of our top killers—stroke and heart disease—was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. A 1,600 milligram per day higher potassium intake was associated with a 21% lower risk of stroke.

That still wouldn’t get the average American up even to the minimum adequate intake, but may still might be able to wipe out a fifth of their stroke risk. “These results support recommendations for higher consumption of potassium-rich foods to prevent vascular diseases.”

What does that mean, potassium-rich foods? “Potassium is particularly abundant in fruits and vegetables. A greater fruit and vegetable consumption has already been shown to protect against the occurrence of stroke.” According to another meta-analysis, “5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day are associated with [a quarter] lower rate of stroke compared with 3 or fewer servings.”

And, it’s not just bananas. Chiquita must have had some great PR firm or something. I don’t know why that’s like one of the only things people know about nutrition. In reality, bananas don’t even make the top 50 sources, coming in at #86—right behind fast-food vanilla milk shakes. And, only then, bananas. 

In reality, the top five sources are tomato and orange concentrates, and then, in terms of the best whole foods—greens, beans, and dates.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Bobjgalindo via Wikimedia

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

A review of all the best studies ever done on potassium intake, and its relationship to two of our top killers—stroke and heart disease—was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. A 1,600 milligram per day higher potassium intake was associated with a 21% lower risk of stroke.

That still wouldn’t get the average American up even to the minimum adequate intake, but may still might be able to wipe out a fifth of their stroke risk. “These results support recommendations for higher consumption of potassium-rich foods to prevent vascular diseases.”

What does that mean, potassium-rich foods? “Potassium is particularly abundant in fruits and vegetables. A greater fruit and vegetable consumption has already been shown to protect against the occurrence of stroke.” According to another meta-analysis, “5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day are associated with [a quarter] lower rate of stroke compared with 3 or fewer servings.”

And, it’s not just bananas. Chiquita must have had some great PR firm or something. I don’t know why that’s like one of the only things people know about nutrition. In reality, bananas don’t even make the top 50 sources, coming in at #86—right behind fast-food vanilla milk shakes. And, only then, bananas. 

In reality, the top five sources are tomato and orange concentrates, and then, in terms of the best whole foods—greens, beans, and dates.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Bobjgalindo via Wikimedia

Doctor's Note

Very few people are eating enough plants—see 98% of American Diets Potassium-Deficient. The banana listing reminds me of a similarly humorous finding about the levels of eyesight-saving nutrients; see Egg Industry Blind Spot. Bananas are also kind of pitiful antioxidant-wise (see Best Berries). Is a fruit a fruit, or should we really go out of our way to eat plants with the most antioxidants? See Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants. This three-part video series ends with a surprising twist—the anti-inflammatory effects of potassium! Check out Potassium and Autoimmune Disease.

Also, be sure to check out my associated blog post for additional context: Do Vegans Get More Cavities?

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