Food for Heart Patients

Food for Heart Patients

Foods that heart patients should eat and avoid, The foods we eat daily have an impact on heart health. Eating healthy foods and avoiding unhealthy foods is important to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, including controlling high blood pressure and harmful cholesterol levels in the blood.

Adherence to proper diet and lifestyle helps control heart disease and reduces the risk of developing heart disease in healthy individuals. This article discusses in detail the foods that heart patients should eat and avoid.

What foods should heart patients eat?

Foods that are beneficial for the heart are briefly discussed below.

Foods rich in fiber

Carbohydrates constitute a large part of the diet in our country. ie rice or bread. Up to 60 percent of daily caloric needs can be met from carbohydrate foods. But those sugary foods should be high fiber rich.

Eating fiber-rich foods also plays a role in controlling excess body weight, including preventing constipation and colon cancer. Almost all foods from plant sources contain some fiber. Foods rich in fiber include apples, pears, strawberries, avocados, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, beans, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, almonds, bananas, etc.

Good Quality Protein

A very important food component for the body is protein. Eggs, fish, meat, milk, etc. are the best sources of protein. Also, some foods from plant sources (pulses, beans, almonds, soybeans, spinach, etc.) contain small amounts of protein.

1 gram of protein per 1 kg of body weight should be consumed daily. The best quality protein for heart patients is fish, which is recommended at least two days a week. Fish contains omega three fatty acids which are very beneficial for the heart. (University of California, San Francisco)

Chicken meat can be eaten as meat but the skin cannot be eaten. Also, it is better not to eat beef, khasi and mutton. If you want to eat it alone, it should be eaten in very small quantities and without the fatty parts.

Milk and dairy products should be avoided. However, fat-free milk and yogurt can be consumed. It is also safe to consume proteins obtained from plant sources. (WENDLER, 2022)

Healthy Fats

Healthy fat refers to unsaturated fat. For example: olive oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, soybean, rice bran oil, etc.

Up to 30 percent of daily caloric needs can be obtained from fat. As such, 75 grams of fat per day is safe for a moderately active person. But those who are overweight should eat less fat. Because fat is very high in calories which can lead to weight gain.

Fruits and Vegetables

The lowest calorie and most nutritious foods are fruits and vegetables. Adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables should be consumed daily to control and prevent heart disease.

Vegetables should be cooked as low heat as possible. Because vitamins and antioxidants are destroyed due to the effect of heat. So vegetables cannot be cooked for a long time. And some vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, raw papaya, etc.) will be more beneficial to eat as a salad.

Food for Heart Patients

The habit of eating fruit at the end of the meal rather than having a full stomach every day

builds up Fruits can also be eaten as snacks. Eating whole fruits is more beneficial than making fruit juice.

Sweet fruits (dates, melons, mangoes, grapes, pineapples, bananas, jackfruit, etc.) should be eaten in moderation for people with diabetes.

Nuts

Many types of nuts can be eaten as snacks, including almonds, cashews, and peanuts. Nuts contain fiber that keeps the stomach full for longer. Almonds also contain omega three fatty acids, various vitamins, and minerals along with antioxidants that have many benefits for the heart.

Nutrients remain intact in raw almonds. So instead of eating roasted nuts, try to eat them raw. Make a habit of eating 30 grams of nuts of any kind (peanuts are the most readily available) every day. It is good to mix salt with nuts. However, excess salt has harmful effects on the heart. So salt cannot be eaten with almonds.

The Water

The importance of water in the overall functioning of the body is immense. So drink enough water (2 to 3 liters) every day. Also, consuming fruit juice, sherbet, canned water, fruits, vegetables, etc. will be beneficial to supply water to the body.

Tea and coffee are safe but must be consumed in moderation. Drinking 2 to 3 cups of tea or coffee a day will be beneficial for the heart. However, sugar cannot be added to tea. Also, avoid drinking tea and coffee at night. Because it can cause sleep problems. If you do not sleep well at night, it has harmful effects on the heart.

What foods should not be eaten by heart patients?

Sugar

Sugar is called white poison which we are constantly eating with or without seeing. Milk breads, jellies, market-bought fruit juices, soft drinks, etc. contain a lot of sugar which many people may not know. Avoid sugar and sugary foods as much as possible.

Salt (NaCl)

An essential component of food is salt. However, this salt cannot be consumed in excess. Because it harms the heart, especially it can increase blood pressure. Avoid eating more than 5 grams (1 teaspoon) of salt per day. (World Health Organization, 2020)

If you have a habit of consuming excess salt while eating, it should be changed. Also, foods with excess salt (potato chips, sauces, fast food, junk food, and processed meat) should be avoided.

Harmful fats

Omega 3

Unhealthy fat refers to saturated fat and trans fat. These two types of fat increase the level of bad cholesterol (LDL – low-density lipoprotein) in the blood and reduce the level of good cholesterol (HDL – high-density lipoprotein). High levels of harmful cholesterol in the blood are directly related to the development of heart disease.

Beef and goat meat, milk, butter, cheese, ghee, palm oil, coconut oil, etc. are sources of saturated fat that can be consumed in very small amounts. However, foods containing trans fats (food fried in burnt oil, potato chips, fast food, and processed foods) should be completely avoided.

Smoking and drinking

Smoking is not included in food but a smoker gives more importance to smoking than food which is a terrible addiction. This addiction has serious harmful effects on the heart and lungs. So if you are in the habit of smoking, you must stop this habit anyway.

Final Words

Drinking habits can increase the level of triglycerides in the blood, which is directly related to the development of heart disease. Also, alcoholism can lead to complications like fatty liver and liver cirrhosis. So it is important to give up the habit of drinking.

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