Diet after Heart Attack
|December 19, 2012||Posted by admin under Heart Disease|
A diet after heart attack is important, if you have had a heart attack, it should be a wake-up call to change many things in your life for the better. And since the unhealthy foods you were fond of eating were one of the major causes for the condition, it is only logical that a healthy diet after heart attack should be adopted.
You may consult a dietitian for this purpose so that a customized diet plan can be developed to suit your eating habits, preferred foods and physical condition. The following rules, however, apply to all individuals who have had heart attacks and, hence, need to change their diets.
Lessen Unhealthy Fats
This is the most important and first step towards a healthier diet after your heart attack. It will lessen your risks for another heart attack as well as stroke, which is a double whammy, so to speak.
Basically, you have to stay away from saturated fats and trans-fats, which are contained in foods like butter, lard, bacon fat, gravy and cream sauce, non-dairy creamers as well as hydrogenated margarine and shortening. You can use low-fat substitutes like low-fat yogurt instead of butter.
But of course, you still have to consume fats since it is a macronutrient. In this case, go for monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and canola oil as well as the polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and seeds. Just remember to also limit these kinds of healthy fats as these are still full of calories.
Go for Low-Protein
Protein is yet another macronutrient that we all need for normal functioning. This time, however, your protein component of a diet after heart attack should consist of low-fat sources. For example, substitute your favorite fried chicken with skinless grilled chicken or your whole milk with skim milk.
The good news is that you can eat as much fish as you want but cooked the healthy way. Fishes like salmon, mackerel, and herring are very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known to be healthy for the heart.
You should also eat more legumes like peas, beans and lentils as well as walnuts, flaxseed and soybeans. These are very good sources of low-fat proteins that will protect your heart against more attacks.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
No matter the disease, you will almost always encounter the advice of eating more fruits and vegetables. This is because fruits and vegetables are very rich sources of macronutrients and micronutrients as well as dietary fiber and yet these are low in calories. Plus, these foods have substances like phytochemicals that have been proven to be heart-healthy.
Still, not all fruits and vegetables should be included in your diet after heart attack. You should avoid vegetables with creamy and coconut sauces and fried or breaded vegetables as well as canned or frozen fruit with sugar and heavy syrup added. Instead, go for fresh fruits and vegetables and it’s more delicious, too.
Other guidelines for your new diet will include selecting whole grains like whole wheat flour and pasta, oatmeal and high-fiber cereal as well as lessening your salt intake. But more than knowing what to eat, you should also know how much to eat since anything in excess, even the good ones, is still toxic. So, do remember to limit your portion sizes while you are at it.