In spite of all their characteristic comforts, modern societies are being ravaged by disease, specially by the non-communicable ones, one of them being stroke. How to reduce the high rate of strokes? A new study suggests that a high protein diet could possibly decrease the risk of having strokes because of the benefits that including proteins in diets brings.
Strokes constitute one of the leading causes of deaths yearly. Massive investments are being made all across the world to reverse this trend. Our contemporary societies are characterised by this type of diseases mainly because of the modern lifestyles. One of our major concerns is how to deal with this. Scientists are focusing their efforts to help mankind get rid of these spiralling increases. A study recently showed that a high-protein diet might be the answer to reducing the risk to have a stroke. We are what we eat. The types of food that we consume dictate, to a large extent, our health. In this regard, a poor diet negatively affects us. For instance, too much fat consumption causes cardiovascular problems as the fats deposit along blood vessels, thereby blocking bloodflow, which could lead to strokes.
The researchers of the new study put forward that a protein rich diet could lower blood pressure, and, as a result, reduce stroke risk as well. The research progressed on a long-term scale: 14 years. The scientists found that those subjects with the greatest amounts of protein intake were 20 % less likely to have a stroke, as opposed to those consuming smaller amounts of proteins in their diets. Furthermore, they also found that every additional 20 g of protein consumed daily decreases the risk of stroke by 26 %. The authors stated that: “According to the result of our meta-analysis, a 20 g/d increment in protein intake was associated with a reduction in the risk of stroke of 26%. This risk reduction would be translated into a reduction of 1,482,000 stroke deaths every year worldwide and is expected to produce overall health benefits by decreasing the level of disability.”
All goes to say that high protein diets do have a certain impact on stroke risk. How does this work though? The team of researchers did not yet lay their hands on the exact mechanism behind. They have speculated that the protein might be lowering blood pressure which in turn impacts positively on the health of the person. Another possible reason could be that considerably high levels of proteins decreased the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby doing away with the obstacles to bloodflow, which therefore decreased the risk of stroke. Yet another explanation might be that the additional protein could be replacing other food items which might be harmful in themselves: instead of consuming potentially harmful foods, the person eats more protein-rich foods, therefore indirectly safeguarding his health.
Now, what about the source of the protein? Red meat, for example, is a source of proteins, but it is also associated with higher stroke risks. Therefore, it is wiser to incorporate fish in the diet as a source of proteins.