8) I want to make healthy eating choices- tips

Tips to improve your diet

Tips Ways to improve your diet
Reduce salt Salt can increase your blood pressure and your risk of stroke. You should have no more than 1 teaspoon (or 6g) a day. Often salt is ‘hidden’ in what we eat. Get into habit of checking labels to see how much salt is in that item. instead of using salt in your cooking, or adding it to cooked food, you can use lemon juice, garlic, herbs and spices. Reduce salt
Switch to wholegrain Switch to wholegrain: Instead of eating white bread, cereals, pasta and rice, switch to wholegrain bread, cereal, pasta and rice. Wholegrain food often has more vitamins and minerals than white bread, for example. Wholegrain food is also a good source of fibre which can lower cholesterol and risk of stroke. Wholemeal/brown bread
Steam, grill, bake or poach Frying your food can add fat and calories and may cause you to put on weight. Being overweight increases your risk of developing health problems – including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. To help you lose weight and eat more healthily try to grill, steam, boil, stew, microwave or bake your food. Salmon fillet
Go for good fats We need some fat in our diet but too much of the wrong type of fat (saturated fat) can raise cholesterol and increase risk of stroke. Saturated fat is found in full fat dairy products, cakes and pastries and takeaway food. Good fat (unsaturated fat) is found in nuts and seeds, and oily fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon. Selection of nuts
Replace red meat with leaner meat Choose lean meats such as chicken, turkey and game which have less saturated fat than red meat (beef, pork, lamb, goat). When you re preparing meat remember to cut off visible fat, and remove the skin from chicken or turkey. Roast chicken
Snack on fruit and veg You should try to have less than 60g (12 teaspoons) of sugar a day. Snacks often contain large amounts of sugar – a can of fizzy drink can have to 8 teaspoons. Try to get into the habit of swapping fizzy drinks, biscuits and cakes for a portion of fruit or raw vegetables. You could have an apple, or handful of grapes, or try a small portion of humous with dipping sticks of raw carrot and pepper. Remember: eating 5 or more portions day of fruit and vegetables can reduce your risk of stroke. Selection of fruit and vegetables
Medicines Some medicines can be affected by different types of food and drink. If you take statins, you should avoid drinking grapefruit juice. If you take warfarin you should not make sudden changes to your diet. Spinach and broccoli are high in vitamins but if eaten in large quantities can interfere with the effects of warfarin. disc_tablets

More information

Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland factsheets:


Research papers:

Download the healthy eating tips sheet [.pdf, 135 KB]