Did you know that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of acquiring medical conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, high cholesterol (lipid) levels, coronary artery disease and obesity?
All of these conditions can increase your chance of having a stroke.
How does a stroke affect eating and nutrition?
Stroke can devastate a person’s nutritional health because it may limit his or her ability to perform daily activities associated with eating, such as grocery shopping, preparing meals and feeding oneself.
Stroke can also impair a person’s ability to swallow. Swallowing problems may result from weakening of the tongue or loss of coordination of tongue movements. Food can become pocketed between the cheek and teeth and drooling may occur because of an inability to seal the lips.
The person may also:
- Choke and cough during and after meals
- Be unable to suck from a straw
- Lack a gag reflex
- Suffer from chronic upper respiratory infection
If calorie and nutritional needs cannot be met, the person may become malnourished, this is a condition characterized by weight-loss and a poor appetite. You can download the Askdamz App to help you monitor the calories in your food.
Diet modifications need to be individualized according to the type and extent of these impairments. A registered dietitian (RD) can develop a plan of care that will provide a satisfying and nutritionally adequate diet. The Askdamz Company has trained dieticians that can help you draw a meal plan.
What are some tips for eating well with swallowing problems?
- Liquids of thicker consistency are easier to swallow.
- Drink eight cups of liquid each day to meet fluid needs.
- Very warm and well-chilled foods make swallowing easier.
- Eat small meals frequently throughout the day to meet nutrient needs.
- Eat moist foods, such as casseroles and foods with sauces.