Stroke is preventable. It is estimated that up to 80% of all strokes could be prevented by making healthy lifestyle changes and working with your physician to control health conditions that raise your risk for a stroke.
Choosing to eat healthy foods can help you prevent stroke. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol. Eating foods high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) intake can help lower your blood pressure. High levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure increase your chances of having a stroke.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for stroke. To determine whether your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website. Doctors sometimes may also use waist and hip measurements to estimate excess body fat.
Physical activity will help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your cholesterol, and lower blood pressure levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.