Categories: Cardiology

Healthy Meal Plan for Heart Patients: Do’s and Don’ts

Your heart’s health depends to a large extent on the food you consume. You may exercise a lot, as per your doctor’s recommendations and also may take timely medications. Still, nothing will find a meaning unless you start focusing on consuming only the right food. The comprehensive heart-healthy foods list below is meant to help people choose only the right food options. The aim is to help you keep your heart safe and ensure that you live a long and healthy life.

In the process, you will learn about the fruits good for the heart and the foods bad for the heart. It is not only important to choose healthy meal plans, but it is equally vital to know the foods to avoid when you have any heart disease. It can make a huge difference in your life, and we are here to guide you through the entire process.

Preparing a Diet Chart for Heart Patients

Before we mention all those food items that are good for your heart, it’s essential to prepare a heart-healthy diet plan and to do that, you should consider these steps.

  • Only a small portion at a time: No matter how healthy a diet you opt for unless you limit the portion of consumption, it is of no good. Avoid overloading your plate and stop taking more calories than what you should. You can use a small plate to control your portions.
  • Limit the consumption of unhealthy fats: You should keep an eye on the number of trans and saturated fat that you consume daily. If left unchecked, they might lead to the development of blood cholesterol and more importantly, they also promote coronary artery diseases. High blood cholesterol levels might lead to the building up of plaques inside your arteries, which increases your heart attack

Cardiac Diet Plan Food List

Here is the mega list of the types of foods that you should consume to keep your heart in good shape:

Whole Grains

  • Whole grains contain all the three nutrient-rich parts: germ, endosperm, and bran. These whole grains can be from brown rice, oats, barley, whole wheat, rye, buckwheat, and quinoa. They have a high content of fibre, which helps to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, which eventually decreases the risk of heart diseases. Studies show that consuming three servings of whole grains every day lowers the risk of heart diseases by 22%.

Green Leafy Vegetables

  • Vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are full of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. These are excellent sources of vitamin K, which protects your arteries. They contain high amounts of dietary nitrates, which eventually reduce blood pressure, and decrease arterial stiffness, and they also improve cell function inside the blood vessels.

Berries

  • Some of the highly nutritious berries include strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The reason doctors prescribe the consumption of berries is that they contain vital nutrients that promote optimum heart health. Berries are not only rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, but they also protect your heart against inflammation and oxidative stress, which reduces the chances of heart attacks.
  • Studies show that consuming berries in good amounts helps in reducing numerous risk factors and keep heart diseases at bay. Recent research has also shown that drinking beverages consisting of freeze-dried strawberries for eight weeks can decrease “bad” cholesterol by 11%.

Avocados

  • If you don’t know already, Avocados are excellent sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These good fats are linked to a reduction in cholesterol levels and reduce risks of heart disease. A study comprising 17,567 people revealed that those who consumed avocados had reduced the chances of any metabolic syndrome by half as compared to those who don’t consume them.
  • Avocados have a rich content of potassium, which is essential for maintaining heart health. A single avocado is packed with 975 milligrams of potassium, which is 28% of the amount that you need in a day.

Fatty Fish & Fish Oil

  • Fatty fish contain massive amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a key ingredient that keeps your heart healthy. Some of the most popular fatty fish are mackerel, tuna, salmon, and sardines. Consuming salmon thrice a week significantly decreases diastolic blood pressure. Moreover, eating fish regularly leads to lower levels of cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, blood triglycerides, and fasting blood sugar.

Walnuts

  • Walnuts are huge sources of fibre and several micronutrients such as copper, magnesium, and manganese. Research showed that incorporating some servings of walnuts in your regular diet helps protect you against heart diseases. In fact, consuming walnuts helps reduce “bad” cholesterol by up to 16% and lowers diastolic blood pressure by 2–3 mm Hg. Walnuts also decrease inflammation and oxidative stress.

Foods That Cause Heart Disease

Here are the foods that cause heart diseases, and you must try to avoid them:

  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Fat
  • Bacon
  • Red Meat
  • Soda
  • Baked foods

We believe that you have now got a fair idea of what foods you must avoid to live healthily. Consider following the instructions to prevent heart diseases from occurring.

Reviewed by Dr. Mallesh P Consultant Cardiology – Adult | Davangere – SS Narayana Heart Centre

Narayana Health

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