Getting more protein in your diet, though not red meat, may reduce your risk for stroke, a review of studies found.
Scientists reviewed seven prospective studies involving more than 2,50,000 people and found that after adjusting for various stroke risks and for other nutrients consumed, those who had the highest consumption of protein had a 20 per cent decreased risk for stroke compared with those with the lowest.
Each increase of 20 grams per day in protein — about the amount in a 3-ounce serving of chicken or fish or a cup of beans — was associated with a 26 per cent decrease in risk, a dose-response relationship that further strengthens the association.
The finding does not apply to red meat, which has been shown to increase the risk for stroke and was not evaluated in the studies reviewed. Some evidence suggested that animal protein was slightly more effective than vegetable protein, although there was not enough data on vegetable consumption to reach a definitive conclusion about the exact difference.