2 ways to eat right, reduce stroke risk

Monday, May 2, 2016

By: Jeff Ash

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Can changing your diet help ward off strokes? Yes, according to updated stroke prevention guidelines.


Nutrition plays a role in preventing strokes, particularly the DASH- and Mediterranean-style diets, according to the Guidelines for The Primary Prevention of Stroke, released last fall by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.


“Changing your diet is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke,” says Dr. Ziad Darkhabani, an interventional neurologist with Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay.


The DASH diet has long been recommended as a way to reduce high blood pressure, one of the most significant risk factors for strokes. Fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, reduced saturated fat and a balance of lean animal proteins are the key elements of the DASH diet.


The Mediterranean diet is one of the guidelines’ new recommendations, again for its cardiovascular benefits. Its key elements are fish, olive oil, red wine, plant foods and mixed nuts.


Other ways to reduce your risk of stroke: Quit smoking, be more physically active and lose weight.


May is Stroke Month. Learn more from Dr. Darkhabani or from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association, which offers a free app to help spot strokes.


Greek-style flank steak with tangy yogurt sauce




1 beef flank steak (12 ounces)


For marinade:

¼ C lemon juice 
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. fresh oregano, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)


For yogurt sauce:

1 C. cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped 
1 C. nonfat plain yogurt 
2 Tbsp. lemon juice 
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced (about 2–3 cloves)
½ tsp. salt




  1. For the marinade, combine lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and garlic in a large bowl.
  2. Lay steak in a flat container with sides and pour marinade over the steak. Let the steak marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to 24 hours, turning several times.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Set yogurt sauce aside for at least 15 minutes to blend flavors. (Sauce can be prepared up to 1 hour in advance and refrigerated.)
  4. Preheat oven broiler on high temperature, with the rack 3 inches from heat source.
  5. Broil steak for about 10 minutes on each side (to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F). Let cool for 5 minutes before carving.
  6. Slice thinly across the grain into 12 slices (1 ounce each).
  7. Serve three slices of the steak with ½ cup yogurt sauce on the side.


Tip: Try serving in a sandwich with pita bread, lettuce, and tomato.


Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Serving size: 3 ounces steak, ½ cup yogurt sauce

Calories: 181

Total fat: 7 g

Saturated fat: 2 g

Cholesterol: 36 mg

Sodium: 364 mg

Total fiber: Less than 1 g

Protein: 21 g

Carbohydrates: 9 g

Potassium: 329 mg


Healthy eating Quiona salad

Quinoa black bean salad




½ C. quinoa

1½ C. water

1½ Tbsp. olive oil

3 Tbsp. lime juice

¼ tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. ground coriander (dried cilantro seeds)

2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

2 medium scallions, minced

1 can (15½ oz.) low­-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

2 C. tomato, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

2 fresh green chilies (or to taste), minced

Ground black pepper, to taste




  1. Rinse the quinoa in cold water. Boil water in a saucepan, then add the quinoa. Return to boil, then simmer until the water is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes.
  2. When quinoa is cooking, mix olive oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, chopped cilantro, and scallions in a small bowl, and set aside.
  3. Combine chopped vegetables with the black beans in a large bowl, and set aside.
  4. Once quinoa has cooled, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Yield: 6 servings

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 208

Total fat: 5g

Saturated fat: 1g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 284 mg

Total fiber: 7 g

Protein: 9 g

Carbohydrates: 34 g

Potassium: 619 mg

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