Southern-Style Diet Increases Risk of Stroke
A Southern-style diet includes high consumption of fried foods (such as chicken, fish, potatoes, ham, bacon, liver and gizzards), which are high in fat and are heavily salted and sugary drinks. As such, three major factors are at work in this type of diet that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to lead researcher Suzanne Judd, PhD, MPH. These are the fatty foods, which are high in cholesterol, sugary drinks associated with diabetes, and salty foods, which may lead to hypertension.
The study compared the diets of more than 20,000 black and white adults and it showed that the quantity of Southern foods eaten by the participants was directly proportional to the frequency of stroke. Those who ate Southern food almost everyday have more than 40% higher risk of stroke versus those who take it only once a month. In contrast, participants with diets high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains eaten almost daily have lower risk of stroke by 29% compared to those who have lower intake of these foods (taken about 3x a week).
The higher risk of stroke among African-Americans is attributable to their consumption of Southern foods. The study should therefore serve as a warning to African-Americans who are heavily inclined to eat Southern foods, as the risk of first-time stroke is almost double the risk of white adults, according to the statistics of American Stroke Association.
According to Judd, people who have high intake of southern foods should be more aware of the risk of stroke, no matter where they live.
American Heart Association. Southern diet could raise your risk of stroke. ScienceDaily.