Eating right after a heart attack Eating right after a heart attack

Eating right after a heart attack

Armony in health 29 September, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.


Know what food groups to eat and what to avoid in order to return to a normal life after having a heart problem.

According to the American Heart Association, after surviving a heart attack, it is important to take on new healthy lifestyle habits such as quitting smoking, doing light physical exercise and changing eating habits. After having a heart attack, patients should be careful about adhering to any restrictions established by their doctor to recover and stay healthy.

Consider eating the following food groups recommended by the American Heart Association:

Eat legumes two days a week. Legumes are a good source of vegetable-based protein and are also considered a good option due to their fiber and mineral content. These foods can serve as a replacement for red and processed meats, which increase the risk of heart disease.

Include fish in your diet. After having a heart attack, it is important to exclude saturated fats from your diet. Unsaturated fats, however, should not be forgotten and are extremely important to include. These are found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and trout.

Dairy is ok, but in small amounts. Approximately 15% of your daily calories should come from this type of protein. These are found both in animal-based and vegetable-based foods. Quality protein can be found in foods such as milk, yogurt or cheese. (Related article: How much dairy do I need a day?).

Less salt and more seasonings. Reducing the amount of table salt you consume is critical when it comes to preparing heart-healthy dishes. The  World Health Organization Recommends eating less than 5 g of salt a day, the equivalent of a teaspoon. According to the WHO, most people consume twice this amount.

Nutrition tip: Seasoning your foods with spices such as turmeric, ginger, saffron or herbs such as basil, thyme and fresh oregano can serve as an added benefit to your health.