Diet plan for heart patient is an important element for heart disease patients. So, what is the right diet plan for heart patient? The right diet plan for heart patient should be balanced, and rich in all essential nutrients and vitamins. The special diet plan for heart patient will helpful to lessen cholesterol level, prevent clogged arteries and avoid cardiac arrest.
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 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.
- 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%.
- 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 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:
- Red Meat
- 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.
Heart-healthy nutrition tips
It can be overwhelming knowing what to eat (and how much to eat) to be healthy. Zumpano offers some tips on how to put together a balanced, heart-friendly diet.
Increase your fruits and vegetables intake
Your parents were right: Eat your fruits and veggies! These provide a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber — all things known to help prevent disease. If you have high blood pressure, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and grains is especially recommended.
Zumpano says to aim for a combined seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day: roughly 4 or greater for vegetables and two to four for fruit. If you don’t reach recommended serving sizes in a given day, don’t worry. It’s more about what your overall diet looks like in a week, so just load up on veggies or fruits in the following days.
One serving of fruit is equal to:
- 1 medium-sized piece of fresh fruit.
- 1/2 medium banana.
- 1/2 grapefruit.
- 1/4 cup dried fruit.
- 1/2 cup canned fruit (avoid heavy syrup and instead choose fruit water or in own juice).
- 4 ounces 100% fruit juice (avoid sweetened juice).
One serving of vegetables is equal to:
- 2 cups raw leafy salad greens.
- 1 cup of cut-up veggies.
- 1 cup 100% vegetable juice.
How to increase fruits and vegetables in your diet
- Buy pre-cut vegetables and fruit (fresh or frozen), and then bag them up for a snack or to add to a dish.
- Have a vegetable-based soup or garden salad with light dressing with your usual sandwich at lunch.
- Instead of a cookie, enjoy frozen banana slices topped with natural peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips or frozen grapes dipped in 1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup.
- Keep fresh fruit on your desk or workspace.
- If you think you’ll be missing a meal, bring a homemade trail mix of your choice of 2 tablespoons dried fruit and 2 tablespoons roasted nuts and/or seeds along with you.
- Make a fruit and veggie smoothie with produce that needs to be eaten quickly.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
Where fruits and veggies are concerned, variety is the spice of a healthy life. Choosing food in a rainbow of colors ensures you’ll ingest a diverse array of nutrients. Eat carrots and oranges; tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries; plums and eggplant; blueberries and blackberries: green grapes, celery, spinach and kiwi; and yellow peppers and bananas.
Decrease saturated fats and trans fats
We all need fat in our diet, but not all fat is created equally. Trans fats and saturated fats are so-called bad fats. These raise your LDL (or bad) cholesterol, the kind that encourages plaque build-up in your arteries (that waxy substance). Red meat is high in saturated fat, as are certain kinds of cheese.
A better choice is consuming good fats, or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You’ll find these in nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, flaxseed, soy and fatty fish.
- Prepare your food with cooking oils such as olive oil or avocado oil, both of which contain healthier fats.
- Eat two to three meatless meals weekly — try split pea soup, garbanzo bean salad, bean-based meatless burgers or tofu stir-fry.
- Eat two skinless poultry meals each week.
- Limit red meat to no more than one meal per week. Choose the leanest cuts of meat possible with skin and visible fat removed. Where possible, replace red meat with seafood or skinless poultry.
- Eat omega-3-rich fish at least two to three times per week This includes cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, sardines and herring.
- Include plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids — like chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds — on a daily basis by adding to meals such as oatmeal, soup, yogurt, smoothies or salads.
Substitute animal protein with plant protein
Animal proteins are the kind of protein found in beef, pork, lamb, poultry and eggs, as well as cheeses and yogurt. Although the American Heart Association recommends you eat 5.5 ounces of protein per day, the kind of protein you eat matters.
For example, animal protein often means you’re ingesting higher amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat— both of which contribute to weight gain and an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Luckily, there’s a solution. In addition to eating more veggies, you should eat more plant-based proteins. These are proteins found in food such as legumes (dried beans, peas and lentils) nuts and seeds. The American Heart Association recommends you eat minimally 5 ounces of plant protein per week.
An easy way to eat more plant-based protein is meatless meals. There are plenty of tasty recipes that provide good sources of protein but that also provide heart-friendly ingredients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
One ounce of protein is equal to:
- 1/2 cup cooked beans, peas or lentils.
- 1/3 cup or 3 ounces tofu.
- 1 ounce nuts or seeds or 2 tablespoon peanut butter.
- 1 ounce cooked seafood, meat or poultry.
- One egg or two egg whites.
Seven-Day Food Plan
- Day 1
Oatmeal and fruit: 1 serving of oatmeal (½ cup dry oatmeal) prepared with water, 3 tablespoons of raisins, or 1 banana, or 1½ cups of berries or melon—mixed with 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds—plus 1 slice of whole-wheat bread, toasted and topped with a spread of plant sterol or stanol margarine (e.g., Benecol or Take Control).
- Day 2
Cereal/milk/fruit: 1 cup high-fiber cereal (any brand that provides 5+ grams fiber and 120 calories or less per serving)—1 cup skim, 1% low-fat milk or soymilk—plus 1 serving of any type of fruit (½ banana, 1 cup berries, or 2 tablespoons of raisins)—plus 1 slice of whole-wheat toast, topped with a spread of plant sterol or stanol margarine (e.g., Benecol or Take Control).
- Day 3
Tomato/cheese toast with fruit: 2 slices of whole-wheat bread, toasted and topped with tomato slices and 2 slices of melted low-fat or nonfat cheese—plus 1 serving of any type of fruit.
- Day 4
Egg white omelet: 5 egg whites, or a small container of egg substitute, with any kind of vegetable thrown in (for example: onion, tomato, and pepper)—use nonstick cooking spray to fry eggs—plus 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with a spread of plant sterol or stanol margarine. Also, you have the option of 1 fruit serving.
- Day 5
Yogurt and fruit: One container (8-ounce) of nonfat, flavored yogurt (or 1 cup 1% cottage cheese)—mixed with 1 serving of any type of fruit—plus 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds and 2 tablespoons wheat germ—plus 1 slice of whole-wheat toast, with a spread of plant sterol/stanol margarine.
- Day 6
Toast/tomato/salmon with fruit: 2 slices of whole-wheat toast topped with a thin spread of light cream cheese, sliced tomato, and salmon. Also, 1 serving of fruit.
- Day 7
Soy/Fruit smoothie: 1 cup soymilk mixed with 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, and ice cubes; place in a blender and mix. With 1 slice of whole-wheat toast topped with 2 teaspoons of natural peanut butter.
- Breakfast beverages: Coffee or tea with skim milk—and of course, water. Try to avoid all fruit juice.
- 1 piece of fruit, with 1 slice of low-fat cheese, or tofu cheese
- 1 sliced apple with 1 teaspoon of natural peanut butter
- Small bag of oat bran pretzels
- 1 ounce of walnuts or almonds
- Nonfat flavored yogurt (8-ounce container)
- 1 cup baby carrots with 2 tablespoons hummus
- Large pear