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Some Fruits and Vegetables Cut Risk of Stroke

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Lichtenstein says that it may be that people eat more fruits and vegetables eat fewer pizzas and Big Macs. The fruits and vegetables may just be displacing "fats and animal proteins in a diet," says Lichtenstein. "The take-home message is that there is no easy answer. Physicians need to keep pushing lifestyle and saying the same boring, unsexy things about diet and exercise."

In a statement from the AHA Lichtenstein says, "It is important to remember that their study did not reveal any single 'magic' or 'super' food to lower the risk of ischemic stroke."

Stampfer also says that not all fruits are created equal. "When we say vegetables, we are not referring to potatoes. A potato is more like a sweet because metabolically it is converted to sugar very, very rapidly. When people think of vegetable servings they definitely should not count potatoes."

He says that the data also suggest that smokers may reap an even greater benefit from increased fruit and vegetable consumption than do nonsmokers. However, he says, "actually smokers appear to eat fewer fruits and vegetables. But smoking is the biggest risk factor for stroke, so eating more fruits and vegetables can't cancel out that risk. My advice to smokers is to eat more fruits and vegetables while they are quitting smoking."

The study was support by a grant form the National Institutes of Health and The State of Florida Department of Citrus.

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