20 percent decreased risk of stroke among those who had the highest level of protein in their diet compared with those with the lowest. Each increase of 20 grams a day in protein — about the amount in a 3-ounce serving of chicken or fish or a cup of beans — was associated with a 26 percent decrease in risk, a dose-response relationship that further strengthens the association. The finding, published in Neurology, does not apply to red meat, which has been shown to increase the risk for stroke and was not evaluated in the studies reviewed. "Moderate dietary protein intake may lower the risk of stroke," said the senior author, Dr. Xinfeng Liu, a neurologist at the Nanjing University School of Medicine in China. "This does not mean that people should avoid red meat entirely," he added, but "increasing intake of fish or vegetables is recommended." New york times