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We know that maintaining a healthy weight, eating right, getting some exercise and not smoking is a good way to help reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. What about stroke - the third leading cause of death in the United States?
In a study that included over 110,000 people, researchers defined a healthy lifestyle as not smoking, having a Body Mass Index in the normal range, getting at least 30 minutes per day of "moderate" exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation, and following a healthy diet (Circulation 2008; 118:000-000).
Those women who had the healthiest lifestyles were up to 80% less likely to have a stroke than their counterparts who had none of the healthy lifestyle factors. Men reduced their risk of stroke by 70% by following a healthy lifestyle.
The researchers further estimated that about half of all strokes could simply be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle.
Interestingly, those whose Body Mass Index fell into the overweight category increased their risk of all types of strokes by almost 25%.
The best way to maintain a healthy weight just happens to be two more of the scientists' healthy lifestyle definition: eating right and exercising. An easy way to learn how to eat healthy is simply by doing it: use My eatTHISdiet. This easy-to-use online software will create you a two-week customized meal plan that includes recipes and shopping lists. You'll eat well-and eat healthy!
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.