This Blog Post is all about diet after a heart attack.
Why Is What We Eat So Important?
Diet is a very important aspect in any lifestyle change you are planning to achieve as a survivor of a heart attack.
You need to eliminate all the bad inflammation generating foods and reduce if not eliminate the major part of fattening foods from your diet.
You would also need to pay attention to the nutritional aspect of your diet and if you are someone who lives on hamburgers, pizza and coke, this is the time to take a reality check. (Not that I have eaten all that delicious stuff myself, because let’s face it, it tastes fine, it’s just not realistic to live on junk food!)
A good meal and a good diet after a heart attack would have a high concentration of raw or parboiled vegetables, and grilled fish, lean meat, or chicken for non-vegetarians.
An important thing that you should know about diet after a heart attack is that you are not expected to change everything you like into ‘heart-friendly’ food. This might bring in additional stress when you are thinking that you have to bid goodbye to everything you loved to eat and replace it with something ‘healthy’.
Work out a plan that stretches over a period of about 2-3 months whereby you gradually exchange certain harmful eating habits with healthy ones. Doing it gradually would not be stressful and you would be able to adapt to the new diet with ease. This could also give you time to research and identify healthy recipes that are at the same time as tasty and as close to your previous meal preferences as possible, so your diet after a heart attack does not have to be restrictive.
Here are some advice and tips for a pro heart diet after a heart attack:
· Red foods– in this bracket you have cherries, beets, raspberries, cranberries, red cabbage, kidney beans, red apples and so on. These foods consist of a natural phytochemical, which is known as anthocyanin – a useful compound that reduces blood pressure and prevents circulatory problems.
· White foods– in this segment you will find garlic, white onions, and leeks among others. The beneficial ingredient in these foods is allicin, which reduces the risk of heart attack, blood pressure, bad cholesterol and enhances the immune system of the body. It also fights cancer.
· Blue foods– here you have blueberries, purple grapes, blackberries, elderberries, and black currants. The magic ingredient here the phytochemical we read about a little earlier – anthocyanin. However, please note that the anthocyanin you get from the red foods and the one you get from the purple foods is different. This one helps to reduce age-related diseases including heart problems, memory loss and may even prevent cancer.
· Orange foods– you will find in this group of foods mangoes, carrots, cantaloupes, pumpkin, and butternut squash among others. These foods give you beta-carotene, which reduces the risk of heart attack, and increases the ability of your body to fight infections and improves vision.
· Yellow foods– the yellow foods are apricots, lemon, yellow raisins, oranges, papaya, pineapple, tangerines, nectarines, yellow peppers and grapefruits among others. The magic ingredients here are the bioflavonoids which combine with the Vitamin C they contain to fight free radicals and thereby lower the risk of a heart attack. It also contributes to regeneration of cells and tissues and thereby you will have healthy skin, teeth and bones. An important note here, if you are on Statin medication be cautious of the adverse effect of grapefruit.
Try to include as many of these foods into your diet. It is not as difficult as it would look. Your aim would be to remove as much as possible fatty foods from your diet after a heart attack and replace them with foods that benefit your heart and reduce your weight without impacting your nutritional level negatively.
Do not however, at any point of time, no matter what the assurance you get, take up any diet after a heart attack without consulting your doctor or a qualified and accredited nutritionist.
A highly beneficial dietary plan seems to be the Mediterranean diet. Studies show that people who have switched to this diet reduced heart attack risk by as much as 68 percent. To add to its acceptance, the American Heart Association dietary recommendations have been seen as matching closely to this regime.
For me personally I agree with a lot of what this diet says except I don’t eat potatoes and I don’t eat cereals, mainly because they are too high on the glycemic index and are high on glycemic load.
Anyhow, the basics of this diet are:
- majority of the meals would be concentrated upon consumption of nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, cereals and potatoes
- the oil recommended here is olive oil
- minimum amount of red meat
- low amounts of poultry, fish and dairy products
- maximum 4 eggs per week
- red wine consumed in moderate quantities (max four glasses per day, usually around meals)
- weight control comes not from limiting fat consumption, but from cutting down calories.
To read about The Mediterranean Diet go to this link here http://www.heartattackprofessor.com/official-mediterranan-diet.html
Another option, if the Mediterranean Diet does not suit you, is to go to Isabel De Los Rios’s site called ‘The Diet Solution Program’.
Isabel really walks the walk, and her approach is really good for teaching good eating habits and what works well for most people. It is an ideal approach to diet after a heart attack.
But what do I do personally? Do I follow what these people say? Do I walk the walk?
That is for one reason only. I feel great when I eat light, when I stay away from heavy greasy foods, and I don’t bombard myself with sugar. I try to eat a diet which is as anti inflammatory as possible. It really is that simple and that is why I look carefully at diet after a heart attack.
I tried the Fried Chicken/Hamburger/French Fry/Soda diet approach myself for quite a long time. Didn’t work unfortunately. Had a heart attack as a result….
Anyway I digress in an attempt to get a cheap laugh! For a review of this excellent product by a truly forward thinking nutritionist go to http://www.heartattackprofessor.com/the-diet-solution-program.html