Stroke Prevention Nutrition – Can I Eat Meat?

I think I’m at risk of having a stroke or I just had one; can I eat meat?





Yes, you can eat meat but let’s break this down so it’ clear to all of us.

Say No to Red Meat – Or at Least, Most of the Time

You can have a steak, once in a while, but a juicy steak like the one pictured above, maybe once a month.

This is hard for me because I love steak, especially a rib eye steak. But I had a stroke so I can choose to ignore the advice from the medical professionals and dig in, or I can create a better and more healthy lifestyle that will extend my life and improve my quality of life.

What Kind of Meat Can I Eat?

This is what you’ve all been waiting for. The meats I can eat:Chicken Breast

  • Eat fish at least twice a week (fish high in Omega-3)
  • Eat lean meats
  • Eat Poultry
  • Eat other proteins that are not meat

The types of meats listed above are recommended by the Stroke Association, the Food Revolution, Harvard Medical School along with many other organizations or institutions.

I do recall one thing my vascular Neurologist told me when I was laying in the hospital bed after my stroke. He told me I needed to switch to mostly a fruit and vegetable diet, like the Mediterranean diet but he did add one glimmer of hope. He said “about once a month, I will allow myself to have a filet mignon” but I will eat healthy meats the remainder of the time and focus more on fruits and vegetables.

Filet Mignon
So once again, moderation is key and you don’t have to cut out everything you love. You just need to start making healthy changes and be characterized by eating healthy. I say characterized by because almost no one eats perfect all the time. There are situations in our life where we need some flexibility to live.

Below is a more extensive list of healthy meats you should be incorporating into your new lifestyle.

Eat Fish High in Omega 3

Fish that is high in Omega 3 from the Mayo Clinic:Fish Market

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Lake trout
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Albacore tuna
  • Halibut

Eat Lean Meat

Here are some lean cuts of meat that you should consider.Lean Meat

  • Sirloin
  • Tenderloin
  • Chuck
  • Round
  • Lamb tenderloin
  • Lamb loin chops
  • Lamb leg
  • Lean pork

When buying ground beef, select 90 percent or higher lean meat. It is best to choose meats labeled as “Choice” or “Select” instead of “Prime”, which usually has more fat.

Eat Poultry

Chose white meat. Ground chicken and turkey breast is best and look for 90 percent lean ground chicken or turkey. Here is a quick list of healthy poultry:Chicken Breast

  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Skinless turkey breast

Protein other than meat

There are plenty of other healthy protein sources besides meat that you should start becoming familiar with. Again, start simple and easy by picking some of these you already like:Nuts

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Legumes (peas and lentils)
  • TofuEggs
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Low fat milks and cheeses
  • Low fat cottage cheese

There is a nice list of lean proteins on the Food Network you should check out.

This is a Lifestyle Change

Most of us probably grew up having meat, and most likely unhealthy cuts, at every meal. It may have been the primary staple in our diet. I know it was for me. I remember most every breakfast had to have some bacon or sausage on the plate.

But, as a stroke survivor, I realized that I needed to make better protein choices.

These choices actually begin by making fruits and vegetables the main portion on your plate while making the protein a side dish. That’s hard for many of us to overcome because what is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone asks, “what’s for dinner tonight?” It’s not dinner if meat isn’t the main player on the menu.

Now I know that some of you have already started to make this mind shift and lifestyle change, but for many of the rest of us, this is still an ongoing battle.

One of the things I keep mentioning in articles here is to “keep it simple” and “start with something easy.” I’m going to re-state that here again. Many of these lifestyle changes will take years to fully incorporate into your life. Don’t fret doing it all perfectly today, just take one step and start eating some healthy proteins you already like.

So, here’s my new motto…………”Keep it Simple and Enjoy the Ride Along the Way.”

The last part of the motto is for us all to realize we can be happy and satisfied while we’re on the journey and we don’t have to wait until we reach our destination.

What’s for dinner?

A Great Dinner





10 thoughts on “Stroke Prevention Nutrition – Can I Eat Meat?”

  1. Most of the time we may consume a lot meat and you’re right Rick, we should go for other options and make a balanced diet as well. Definitely I’ll try to add more fish on my meals. Thanks for these advices!

  2. My mom is also a stroke survivor. She got stroke in 2009 and is still alive as she too changed her diet totally around. She was not eating too healthy back then. Now she eats mostly vegetables, grains and fish which are high in omega3s. She hardly eats the other meat on your list.

    I am happy I found your article and this site because I really don’t want what happened to her to happen to me. I thought she would die at one point, but she slowly and gradually recovered.
    I’ll be bookmarking your site and checking it out regularly. My motto “prevention is better than cure” :). Thanks Rick.

    • I love your motto.  Thank you for the comments. My next step in my eating will be toward more fish so I appreciate you referring to that.

  3. Maintaining good health is so important in this day and time, therefore, we should do all that we can to ensure that we are in the best of health at all times. Our health is one of our greatest investment and we should not take it lightly. Your post is so on point and will really help your readers.

    • Thank you. Changing my eating habits after I had a stroke has probably been the single largest challenge for me. This is one of the reasons my website sounds as it does. It’s a mixture of information, due to research, and a large amount of personal experience.

      I respect the health professional’s that have been a big part of my life and they have their own story to tell and advice to get out there. My story is one of life lessons and ways to encourage others to take control of their health instead of waiting in line for the pill dispenser.

  4. I will take your advice very seriously. The consumption of meat in my family will be monitored now. Thank you for trying to support people through your experience. Your explanation is so clear that I am sure you will reach many people.

    • Thank you. It is a challenge getting most of us to re-think about protein. It doesn’t have to be meat and it doesn’t have to be a steak. Once in awhile a steak is fine but we just have to start looking at the healthy proteins, and fish should be right up there at the top. That’s one I’m still working on. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hey Rick. I’ve spent some time on your site and I can only say that I am absolutely thrilled that you survived a stroke and that you have followed up with a lifestyle change and continue to actively research.
    I hope some day you will stumble across “Forks over Knives” a documentary that changed my life radically. And I am not a stroke survivor but my impending stroke was waiting to happen. The thought of becoming disabled was something I could not contemplate – death is preferable to me.
    If, like me, you understand and believe what is in “Forks over Knives” you will come to realise that a lot of the information here (your site) is VERY.
    I will not get into an argument with you but I do urge you to watch the documentary – I think you will love it.
    All the best

    • Lawrence, I never want to get into an argument with visitors to my site. The information I provide here is based on my stroke experience and my mothers severe stroke. My dad has had to take care of my mother 24/7 for about 10 years now and this whole ordeal may be more difficult on him than it is on my mother.

      I am focused on helping others avoid a stroke or having another stroke and it is solely based on my experience, my families experience plus some research I have completed.

      I welcome your comments and advice anytime you would like to offer it. I have taken a look at the Forks over Knives documentary and I will rent it soon and watch all of it. Thank you.


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