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Secondary Prevention

The dietary approaches to secondary prevention, that is prevention of a second or subsequent stroke, are the same as for primary prevention. Following a healthy lifestyle such as not smoking and participating in regular physical activity are important prevention strategies, as is what you eat. A healthy balanced diet may help prevent another stroke. For many, it is not until they have suffered a stroke that they are aware of the presence of risk factors.

Adopting a healthy diet aims to reduce complications from dietary related risk factors:

  • Weight – aim for maintenance of a healthy weight.

  • Choose lower fat and sugar varieties as part of following the healthy eating guidelines as outlined by the food pyramid. Click here to see the Food Pyramid

  • Blood pressure – prevent or reduce high blood pressure (Hypertension).

  • Particular benefits can be got from reducing weight if overweight and reducing the intake of salt and salty processed foods.

  • Also, aim to eat at least 5 portions of fruit & vegetables every day.

  • Cholesterol – prevent or reduce high cholesterol. If cholesterol is present in the blood in large quantities, fatty deposits may build up in the walls of arteries, making them more likely to be blocked off.


Levels are reduced by a combination of diet alone or with medication. Choose unsaturated (plant sources) fats instead of saturated (animal sources) and reduce total fat intake if high. Follow a healthy diet high in fibre, omega 3 fats (eg. in oily fish) and antioxidants (e.g. in fruits and vegetables).

Diabetics – optimal blood sugar control

Following a low sugar diet with regular meals is the basic principal to be followed together with ‘healthy eating’ as outlined by the food pyramid. As individuals differ in their medical management, it is important that advice is tailored to suit each person.

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