top of page

Resource Centre

Dietary Tips for Stroke Patients

Five Dietary Tips

Among all risk factors for stroke including hereditary factors, age, gender, sedentary lifestyle, smoking and more, poor eating habits including high intake of saturated fats, trans fat, sugar, sodium, alcohol, and low intake in dietary fiber, potassium, unsaturated fats are also strongly linked. It is very important to follow a healthy balanced diet for the prevention and reoccurrence of stroke and also the treatment of stroke patients.  

1. Reduce intake of salt

  • You can gradually reduce salt intake by adding less salt and other condiments into you dishes so that your taste buds can slowly adapt to lighter taste

  • You can also replace salty condiments with low sodium seasonings

  • Such as garlic, ginger, scallions, coriander, basil, fresh chilli, pepper, paprika and tumeric etc. 

2. Consume for good fats

  • Use olive oil and canola oil in cooking

  • Spread nut butter (preferably unsweetened) when eating your bread or toast at breakfast

  • Such as peanut butter, almond butter and avocado

3. When eating out

  • Try to skim away the sauce, ask for sauce on the side and reduce intake of soup base to reduce sodium intake

  • You can also try to request the chef to put less salt and oil into your orders

4. Have 2 serves of fruits a day
  • You can bring a fruit to work as a snack

  • You can use dried fruits with no added sugar such as raisin, apricots, figs as alternatives

  • 1/4 cup of dried fruit is equal to one serve of fresh fruit

5. Try to reduce eating out

  • Try to eat at home more often at breakfast and dinner or bring your own healthy lunch

  • Try to eat oatmeal, whole wheat bread and low sugar cereal at breakfast

  • Eat more different kinds of vegetables at home dinner


Eat Less

1. High saturated/trans fat foods

2. High sodium foods

  • Condiments such as salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, chicken powder, black bean sauce, chili paste, ketchup

  • Preserved and canned meat, fish, salted egg and pickled vegetables

  • Soup base or canned soup

  • Ready to eat foods such as instant noodles, cup noodles, frozen dim sums and pizzas etc

3. Added sugar and refined carbohydrates

Stroke Full Text
  • Fatty meat, poultry with skin, chicken wings, preserved meat such as luncheon meat and sausages.

  • Full-fat dairy products including whole milk, cheese, ice cream, evaporated and condensed milk

  • Buns and pastries such as croissant, muffins, cakes, pineapple bun, cocktail buns, creamed buns, pies, biscuits, cookies.

  • Deep-fried foods such as French fries, chips, fried chicken

  • Butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, hydrogenated oil, and hard margarine

  • Sugary drinks such as soft drinks, sweetened coffee, tea, milk tea, fruit juices, Taiwanese beverages

  • White bread, white rice, sweet buns, cakes, saltine crackers

  • Candies and desserts

4. Alcohol beverages

  • If you do not drink, do not start drinking

  • Men should limit to 2 standard drinks and women should limit to 1 standard drinks per day.

  • 1 standard drink = 250 ml beer, 100 ml wine, 30 ml spirit

Eat More

1. High dietary fiber foods

  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, muesli, and cereals (low sugar), red rice, brown rice, quinoa, wholewheat bread, and pasta, buckwheat noodle

  • Fruits and vegetables (at least 500 g per day)

  • Legumes and dried beans

2. High potassium foods

  • Vegetables and fruits of different types and colors

  • Legumes and dried beans

3. Healthy oils 

  • Vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil and nut oil 

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, sardines

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Avocado

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight and obese significantly increases the risk of stroke. It’s suggested to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 to 22.9 kg/m2 for Asians.


(BMI= Weight(kg)/ Height(m))

A BMI over 23 is classified as overweight; over 25 as obese; and over 30 as morbidly obese. For overweight and obese individuals, a target weight loss of 5 – 10% in 6 months is suggested to reduce the risk of stroke and other chronic diseases. 

Eating for Post-Stroke Patients

After a stroke occurs, malnutrition is often noticed in stroke patients mainly due to reduced swallowing ability (dysphagia), reduced level of consciousness, poor oral hygiene, depression, reduced mobility, and arm, or facial weakness. Also, post-stroke depression can all influence food intake and nutritional status.


If the patient experiences dysphagia leading to malnutrition, the patient should be assessed by a multidisciplinary team including doctor, speech therapist, dietitian and physiotherapist as soon as possible for nutrition support.  

provided by HKDA
bottom of page