Foods: The Dirty Dozen and More for Post-Stroke Survivors, aka All You Need Is “My Fitness Pal”

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Go ahead, stroke survivors. Eat those to-die-for doughnuts, have yourself another salty bag of chips, drink yet a fifth glass of wine. But don’t expect to be healthy if you do any one of those things in excess.

The Dirty Dozen: Foods Stroke Survivors Should Avoid was written by Sharon Maguire, a nurse at BrightStar Care, an agency that provides help for little ones as well as seniors in all but a handful of states. The article was published by Stroke-Network.com because post-stroke people should, as the title suggests, avoid the following. 

Maguire says:

1. Red meat:

It’s important to decrease fat intake following a stroke. Opt instead for lean proteins such as chicken breast or turkey burgers.

2. Whole dairy products:
High-fat milk products such as 2 percent or whole milk and full-fat cheese should be avoided. Make the switch to skim or opt and low-fat cream cheese and dairy products.

3. Butter replacements:
Some so-called ‘healthy’ foods can be high in trans-fats, such as butter replacements and margarines. They might have a lower calorie count, but that doesn’t mean that they are good for you.

4. Processed foods:
Processed foods such as frozen meals are often high in sodium (a big no-no for stroke recovery patients). Go for fresh meals whenever possible.

5. Salty snacks:
Avoid salty junk foods like pretzels to help limit your sodium intake.

6. Donuts and pastries:
Bakery goods are delicious, but not only are they often highly processed, they also are high in fat and made with rich dairy products. Swap out these items for sweet and delicious fruit items such as a light sorbet or fresh berries.

7. Fried chicken:
When selecting lean proteins, remember that it is still important to avoid eating the skin and not to go for the dark, fatty cuts. Think lean and light.

8. Whole eggs:
Eggs can be a healthy part of your diet, but they can also be high in cholesterol. To enjoy eggs in a healthy way, simply swap out the yolk for egg whites. For example, instead of having a fried egg sandwich with hash browns, go for an egg-white omelet stuffed with veggies with a side of fruit and whole-wheat toast.

9. French fries:
It’s also good to avoid foods that are cooked in oil. Instead, opt for foods that are baked or broiled. Remember, if it has the word “fried” in the description, it’s not a healthy option.

10. Lunch meat:
Some foods that seem light and healthy are actually quite high in sodium, such as lunch meat. Instead of lunch meat,  consider a light lunch option like salad, yogurt, or a veggie wrap. Or opt for a reduced sodium variety.

11. Ranch dressing:
Speaking of salad, remember that not all salad dressings are created equal. Look for salad dressings that are low in fat and calories, such as a light raspberry vinaigrette. A simple balsamic vinaigrette with olive oil and balsamic vinegar is easy to make and delicious as well.

12. Alcohol:
Be sure to ask your doctor about guidelines for alcohol consumption. He may suggest that you avoid it all together or that you only enjoy it in moderation.

I have a few more to add to the list. Cranberry and grapefruit “anything” or green tea or uneven or excess weekly levels of vitamin K (http://www.coumadin.bmscustomerconnect.com/servlet/servlet.FileDownload?file=00Pi000000bxvTFEAY) can make your INR (International Normalized Ratio), go off the charts. The INR is a blood test often given to stroke survivors to avoid clots (low INR) or bleeding (high INR). Check with your doctor for the right levels you should achieve with your INR.

But if you don’t want to memorize the “Dirty Dozen,” [My God! Who would!] you can go to your Apps Store and get, free of charge, My Fitness Pal (MFP).

Here’s how it works: You choose what you want to lose, based on a 1200-calorie diet, and how fast you want to shed those unwanted pounds. I chose 50 pounds–2 pounds weekly–by October, taking me down to a size 8, the dress size of yore–eons of yore.

The creator of MFP, Mike Lee, doesn’t want you to lose too fast because studies show if you lose too quickly, you’ll regain it in a short time. So Lee bases all of that on a 1200-calorie intake. Exercise counts, too. (I do the recumbent bike for 45 minutes giving me more calories for the day). Food intake subtracts; exercise adds to what you’re allowed to eat. Every thing is there by brand name, and yes, even McDonalds!

When I first started, I was out of calories by dinner because of 2 bagels loaded with cream cheese, 2 servings of pasta primavera, and a snack of 10 Oreo cookies. So, with all that fattening food literally staring me in the face, I learned to eat healthy stuff and more of it, too, like big salads with fat-free dressing (200 calories), white meat chicken breast (3 ounces at 100 calories), and most vegetables and fruits (at most, 100 calories per cup). Sometimes, I am so full that I can’t even eat all 1200 calories. If I exercise, 1200+!

That’s the things. A diary of food intake really makes a difference. When I record my food and exercises for the day, and I lose weight, I am rewarded by getting healthier. You won’t eat or drink the “dirty dozen” because it makes sense to not.

You know what started all this weight loss stuff? Sitting on a shower chair, I had to cross my legs in the shower to wash my feet and couldn’t, plus I couldn’t get off the sofa in one motion. I knew it was time. Heavier people move much slower. Do you know who said that? Mostly everybody!

So how much did I lose so far? I lost 14 pounds in almost 7 weeks. Right on schedule! Let me know how it’s working for you! I’ll keep you updated, too.

Joyce Hoffman

Joyce Hoffman

Joyce Hoffman is one of the world's top 10 stroke bloggers according to the Medical News Today. You can find the original post and other blogs Joyce wrote in Tales of a Stroke Survivor. (https://talesofastrokesurvivor.blog)
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7 thoughts on “Foods: The Dirty Dozen and More for Post-Stroke Survivors, aka All You Need Is “My Fitness Pal”

  1. Hi, Laurie! I have no intentions of leaving. My Fitness Pal on the phone is a lifesaver because overweight and stroke don't go together! I just punch my foods in and I'm good to go. Thanks for reading!

  2. I suffered once from an acute stroke with resultant hemiplegia 3years ago. When you have a stroke, it’s difficult finding information to help you make sense of it all. Like many others who have had a stroke. I will try almost anything to recover lost mobility. I have meet different Doctors, prescription drugs worsened the symptoms until I met Dr.William whose herbal medicine is a permanent solution to Stroke. I now consider myself a Stroke Survivor. His herbal medicine is a final solution to Stroke. Hang in there… Better days will come for you too (his e-mail address: [email protected]).

  3. My son recently started having grand Mal seizures at 16 years old. We were prescribed Kepler. We decided NOT to take the medicine and go with a Modified Atkins Diet that entails feeding our son 15 carbs a day with lots of healthy fat. He eats a lot of grass fed beef, free range eggs, organic low crab veggies and is doing fantastic! We could tell a difference in him by the 3rd day. This is not alternative or junk science. Dr. Lewis hill at Johns Hopkins has been championing this diet for years and has been really successful. Doctors are really resistant to this therapy but it works!. Read "Grain Brain" for why it works. He also takes taurine which helped stop the night time teeth grinding, jerking, and unrest in his sleep (also known to stop seizures). And he takes cur cumin as a brain protestant that raises seizures.one day came across Albert post thanking Dr Lewis hill for curing his son seizure problem, and i got the contact of Dr Lewis hill i quickly contacted him then he made me to know that the medication is 100% permanent cure, and that was how i got the medicine which i used for my son, after which i took my son for medical test It worked! Over a year now, my son have not show any symptoms of seizure and I believe my son is cure if you need his help email him on [email protected]

  4. For those people whose relative are suffering from Tinnitus and maybe reading this, I find it hard that people are still ignorant of herbal medicine when it comes to treating Tinnitus. I have been through many phases over the last couple of years since my (audiological) exam/diagnosis, my tinnitus once buried me in a negative place where many of you are now – or have been. Believe me when I say, “I’ve been there.” I had sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), losing 70 percent of my hearing up to 4,000 kHz. I began noticing a low level of tinnitus around 51 years old and the diagnosis changed my life in many ways, I spend most of the time in denial and I keep thinking the tests were wrong. But deep down I knew they were correct. The level spiked dramatically, spiraling me down into a pit of depression. I could not sleep or eat; I stayed in bed with sweats and shaking spells; I lost strength and considerable weight. My wife held me in her arms, trying to comfort me, and still I thought I was going to die. Though sharing his story is very difficult. I was always very successful in being able to accomplish anything I set my mind on doing. Tinnitus is a bitch. I feel a need to express my thoughts and feelings about how it affected my day to day living and how its deteriorated since despite the help of some wonderful medics and medicine.
    I remind myself how lucky to come across aparajita tan herbal medicine which is able to control Tinnitus without any side effect, I felt a moment of relief hoping that I am free from this ailment, and  nothing compares to the healing power of nature. Now I believe almost every health problem can be addressed in one natural way or another. The only thing I wanted was for me to feel better. I’m proud to say am Tinnitus free. You can also contact him for advice and more info. [email protected]

  5. I had my first seizure. I was in high school and didn't want anyone to know that I had epilepsy. I had seizures on two occasions. I was so ashamed and didn't want people to think that something was wrong with me. I finally got to the point where I told people that I had epilepsy. I came to the place that I realized that I had to own my epilepsy or it would control me. Epilepsy hadn't really affected my life until about 9 years ago after my first child was born… I am a wife and mother of two beautiful children. I have lived with epilepsy for 20 years Yet, my life has been dramatically impacted by epilepsy. I had search for cure online without no hope. I met a Man called DR Lewis hill, i contact him I made an order of his medicine and I do not experience seizure anymore i was cured form it. So if you are in the same situation as mine contact him on this email [email protected]

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