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Southern Diets Linked to Stroke Risk

While Southern diets are full of “comfort foods,” there’s nothing comforting about an increased risk of stroke. Foods typically associated with a classic Southern diet include fried chicken, fried potatoes, bacon, ham and sweet tea.

According to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013, these diets have three major factors working together to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Such fatty foods are high in cholesterol; sugary drinks are linked to diabetes; salty foods can lead to high blood pressure.

Previous research has shown that Southerners are about 20 percent more likely to have a stroke than those living in other parts of the country. So what’s a Southerner to do? Integrating fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains into your diet at least five times a week is a great start…and may reduce your risk of stroke by 29 percent.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus and in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Schedule an appointment online today.

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