Stroke: Certain type of meat could raise risk – ‘Contaminated’ with ‘harmful’ substances

Advert warns to act FAST when you see signs of a stroke

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Strokes are a serious and potentially fatal medical condition. They occur when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. One cause of strokes is having high cholesterol levels as this can lead to blocked blood vessels.

High cholesterol is usually caused by eating too much fatty food and not exercising enough.

And high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can also lead to strokes.

This can be caused by eating too much salt and not enough fruit and vegetables.

Therefore, people who might be at risk of a stroke are told to avoid trans fats, processed foods and salt.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, eating smoked meats can also increase your chances of suffering a stroke.

It warns of “harmful” contaminants that come as a result of the cooking process.

“When you hear the term ‘contaminated food,’ you might imagine clear signs of nastiness, like a bad taste, a foul odour or a weird colour,” it says.

“But here’s the trouble with smoked meats: the same process that makes them taste so good also contaminates them.”

Speaking to the clinic, registered dietitian Gillian Culbertson explained: “The smoke itself is a source of contaminants that can be harmful.”

The substances in question are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which are created when meat is cooked at very high temperatures.

Although PAHs and HCAs are also found in grilled and pan-fried meats, research has shown smoking the food increases the level of contamination because the smoke both forms the substances and lifts them to the surface of the meat.

Ms Culbertson added: “These compounds are created when fluids and fat drip from the meat onto the heat source and as a by product of the smoke.

“Aromatic rings are formed, creating these harmful compounds that are transported to the meat from the smoke.”

The clinic states that smoked meats can also put you at higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

It also warns that smoked cheeses contain harmful PAHs – although this is more concentrated in the rind, so it advises cutting that off.

The main signs of a stroke can be remembered with the word FAST.

Face – The face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.

Arms – The person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.

Speech – Their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.

Time – It’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

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