We all know the importance of good food in keeping our heart healthy, right? But do you know how important it exactly is?
A lot of experts argue that your diet is, in fact, the most important factor determining your cardiovascular health. They believe that a good diet can significantly reduce your risk of developing any serious heart condition. And thus, they recommend that you eat only the healthiest food that you can.
But what if you already have been through a heart attack? Well, that’s a tricky one.
Experts believe that if you have been through one heart attack, there is a very high chance you may have it again. And thus, in such conditions, it becomes even more important for you to keep your dietary habits healthy.
But what exactly should you do?
To make things simple for you, we’ve made this basic dietary guide for you to follow after a heart attack. Just follow this carefully and maintain a good lifestyle, and I’m sure you can easily lead a very happy and healthy life post a heart attack too.
Best Foods for a Healthy Heart
If you wanna keep your heart healthy for a long time, here are a few foods
you must have in your diet:
- Lots of veggies and fruits
- Lean meat
- Dairy products with low fat
- Whole grains
- Nuts and beans
All these items have a very low amount of saturated fat and empty calories. And this will help you keep your heart in a healthy shape for a very long time.
Also, make sure a large part of your diet contains vegetables and fruits. But keep the salt and sugar at a minimum. You should also note that a fish is a really amazing food for your heart, given you choose the right type. Oily fish contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help you a lot in controlling your cholesterol levels and maintaining a good overall cardiovascular health. And thus, try having fish in your diet at least two times a week.
Now, if we talk about liquids, water is definitely your best friend. However, if you want a different flavor, you may add cucumber, berries or lemon to it.
Special Diet Plans Post a Heart Attack
While the above foods can help you a lot in keeping your heart in a good shape, some people may prefer a more structured approach. And for them, we have a few good options. However, we recommend you talk to your doctor also if you plan on starting a new diet.
The Mediterranean Diet
This particular diet structure has attracted a lot of attention in the past few years. And why not? Various studies have shown the potential of the Mediterranean diet in reducing the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
The diet particularly focuses on legumes, grains, beans, fish and a lot of fruits and vegetables. You can also include some dairy and meat, but only occasionally. And in place of butter, the diet recommends the use of some plant-based oils, such as olive oil.
Also, make sure if you are taking any dairy products, the fat content doesn’t exceed 1 percent.
DASH, or dietary approaches to stopping hypertension, is also an amazing dietary plan to help people keep their heart healthy by keeping their blood pressure in control.
The plan, just like the previous one, also promotes people to eat plant-based foods and lean meat more. However, there is a slight difference between the two. This particular approach tries to reduce your sodium intake too. The DASH plan targets on keeping your sodium intake between 1500mg and 2300mg in a single day. And this, in turn, can naturally keep your blood pressure in control and your heart in a healthy condition.
This particular approach, a.k.a. Plant-forward eating, focuses only on plant-based foods with almost no meat. The diet includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains and many other healthy foods that are not from any animal sources.
Research has shown that this approach can be very effective in promoting good heart health. Plus, it is also associated with reducing the risk of development of cancer and type-2 diabetes.
Foods You Must Avoid
If you have been through a heart attack, you should clearly understand one thing- excessive salt, sugar or any unhealthy fats are your grave enemies. And thus, you must avoid them at any cost.
Other than that, here is a small list of food items you should avoid post a heart attack.
- Fried food
- Fast food
- Frozen meal
- Red Meat
- Mayonnaise or Ketchup
The list is just a partial one. There are many other things you should avoid to keep your heart healthy. You should stay away from any foods containing saturated or trans fat. Plus keep your sodium intake at a minimum.
You may enjoy coffee or tea occasionally. But avoid adding any excessive milk, cream or sugar in it.
You must understand that keeping your diet healthy is a very important thing for you to keep your heart healthy. And I hope the above tips gave you some idea of how to do that. However, if you are thinking of making any significant changes in your diet, we recommend you talk to your doctor first. Your doctor knows about your body and your condition. And therefore, only he can give you the best advice here.