Dr. Fuhrman and stroke and salt:
How to protect yourself from hemorrhagic stroke: Avoid salt!
High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke, and Americans have a 90% lifetime probability of having high blood pressure. The most effective way to keep blood pressure in a favorable range is to avoid the huge amounts of excess salt that most Americans consume. Stroke mortality is significantly higher in Japan and exceptionally high in certain areas of China where salt intake is high, in spite of low-fat diets.5 It is also well established that Third World countries that do no salt their food are virtually immune to hypertension and strokes.
High-salt consumption may be potentially more dangerous for vegans, vegetarians, and others who have earned low cholesterol levels by eating otherwise healthful diets. Many vegans believe that their low cholesterol levels and decreased atherosclerosis risk make them exempt from all types of cardiovascular disease, but this is not the case. Unlike heart disease, cholesterol is not an important risk factor for hemorrhagic stroke. In fact, low cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke. A number of studies both in Japan and in the West have illustrated that fewer animal products and a low serum cholesterol were associated with increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.6 The plaque-building process that results in atherosclerosis and premature death may in some way actually protect the fragile blood vessels in the brain from rupture due to high blood pressure. A high-salt diet may dramatically increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in vegans because they can live longer than the general population and not die from a heart attack first. Of course, excess sodium increases both heart attack and stroke death in all diet styles, but in vegans, a high-salt diet may be even more dangerous. To protect against heart attacks, ischemic strokes, and hemorrhagic strokes, you must dramatically curtail salt consumption.
Excess salt is more dangerous than most people realize. In addition to high blood pressure and stroke, salt contributes to kidney disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, ulcers, and stomach cancer.7 Avoiding salt is an essential component of a health-promoting, disease-preventing diet.
Thanks for that information from Dr. Fuhrman. A relative of mine who subscribes to the Weston Price Foundation point of view told me "your brain needs animal fat." I think that this is incorrect. But "studies" like the one I referenced probably add fuel to that fire.
I am currently reading another study on the Japanese and Stroke prevention titled Explanation for the Japanese Paradox: Prevention of Increase in Coronary Heart Disease and Reduction in Stroke
Japan's age-adjusted rate for mortality from stroke increased after the Second World War until 1965 and then showed a significant decline until 1990; however, the age-adjusted rate for mortality from all heart disease and coronary heart disease (CHD) increased until 1970 and then declined slowly.
I remember in Dr. Esselstyn's book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease," Dr. Esselstyn mentioned that a low-fat whole foods plant based diet can reduce the risk of ischemic stroke
in the same way that it reduces the risk of heart attacks. And ischemic strokes, in the United States at least, represent the large majority of stroke incidence.