How To Make Healthy Food Choices When Recovering From A Heart Attack
Though a heart attack can be devastating, your diet following the incident may play a part in reducing the risk of recurrence. Two diets that experts suggest specifically after a heart attack are the Mediterranean and DASH diets – both known for their ability to support cardiovascular health when incorporated into one’s lifestyle.
By making changes such as adding more fruits and vegetables, increasing heart-healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and fish, decreasing salt intake and avoiding processed foods, you may benefit from these two diets’ power to optimize your health following whatever medical treatments you received. Read on to learn more about how to incorporate elements of both the Mediterranean or DASH diets into your life after recovering from a heart attack.
If you’ve experienced a heart attack, ensuring the health of your heart becomes paramount. In order to minimize the risk of recurrence, doctors often advise following a diet rich in heart-healthy foods. This includes an abundance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
To guarantee that you’re receiving all the necessary nutrients, doctors may refer you to a dietitian. These professionals have the expertise to help you create a personalized eating plan that focuses on heart-healthy options. Additionally, they can provide valuable advice on foods to avoid.
By embracing a heart-healthy diet and enlisting the support of a dietitian, you can take proactive steps towards a healthier heart and a reduced likelihood of future heart attacks. A recent report in MedicalNewsToday looks at which foods to eat and avoid, whether a person should take supplements after a heart attack, and more.
Among the key questions explored in the article are;
Why Choose The Mediterranean or DASH Diet after a heart attack?
According to the American Heart Association, being proactive with treatment and taking preventive steps, such as consuming a heart-healthy diet is a key priority after a heart attack.
While no specific diet can prevent or reduce the risk of another heart attack, the AHA does suggest that the Mediterranean diet and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet may be beneficial.
The Mediterranean diet involves focusing on fruits and vegetables and limiting the intake of red meat.
The AHA says:
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables and little red meat. The DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, also incorporates a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products and non-tropical oils.Learn more about the DASH diet.American Heart Association
It is best for a person to contact their doctor for advice before making any significant dietary changes or if following a vegetarian or plant-based diet.
What Foods Are Best To Eat After A Heart Attack?
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a heart-healthy eating plan may include vegetables such as:
- leafy greens, such as:
- collard greens
Some of the best fruits to choose are:
- Some of the best fruits to choose are;
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats Including Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Consuming foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may benefit heart health. Examples include:
- oils, such as:
- olive oil
- canola oil
- corn oil
- sesame oil
- sunflower oil
- nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts
- seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds
- seed and nut butters
- certain fish, such as trout and salmon
Learn more about foods for a healthy heart.
Whole grains for heart health can include:
- plain oatmeal
- whole grain bread
- whole grain tortillas
- brown rice
According to Medical News Today, consuming low fat or fat-free dairy products may be more beneficial than consuming full-fat alternatives. This can include low or no-fat versions of:
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends consuming foods rich in protein, such as:
- lean meats, including 95% lean ground beef or skinless chicken or turkey
- fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, or trout
- nuts and seeds
- soy products or tofu
- legumes, such as:
- black-eyed peas
- kidney beans
- lima beans
Foods to avoid after a heart attack
The AHATrusted Source recommends limiting or avoiding the following foods:
- ultra-processed foods
- foods and drinks with added sugars, such as corn syrup and concentrated fruit juices
- processed meats
- foods high in salt
- alcoholic beverages
- tropic oils, such as coconut, palm, and palm kernel oil
- animal fats such as butter and lard
- partially hydrogenated fats
For full details of the Medical News Today Report, including other recommended measures to take after a heart attack, please see here.
How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
One of the best ways to prevent a heart attack is to reduce your LDL (or ‘bad’ cholesterol level).
A quality extra virgin olive oil like Morroco Gold can help reduce cholesterol. If you are looking to decrease levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your arteries and arm yourself against heart disease, including a quality olive oil in your diet is a great place to start. By substituting saturated fats for healthier unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (both present in extra virgin olive oil) you are contributing to a reduced risk of the health complications caused by high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
By making a change from saturated fats, such as butter, lard or animal fats to extra virgin olive oil, which contains much higher levels of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, you are helping to reduce the risk of high cholesterol affecting the function of your heart and arteries. Both beneficial diets have merits for someone looking for a healthy life style post heart attack.