Observational studies support the role of modifying lifestyle-related risk factors such as diet, physical activity and alcohol use in stroke prevention. For example, increased Na intake is associated with hypertension, and reduction in salt consumption may significantly lower blood pressure and may reduce stroke mortality. Moderately elevated homocysteine levels may be associated with stroke and are associated with deficiency of dietary intake of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. Consumption of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, folate, K, Ca, Mg, dietary fibre, fish and milk may protect against stroke. Regular physical activity may also protect against stroke through its role in controlling various risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity. The role of fat intake as a risk factor for stroke remains uncertain, whereas the association between stroke and cholesterol has more convincingly been demonstrated by the recent intervention trials using statins. There is also evidence that a low serum albumin may be causally linked to stroke risk and outcome and that a significant number of stroke patients are undernourished on admission and their nutritional status deteriorates further whilst in hospital. Undernutrition is associated with increasing morbidity and mortality and nutritional supplements may have some beneficial effect on some outcome measures.