Diet Changes To Improve Your Heart Condition
When you are diagnosed with a heart condition of any kind, there are two main components of your treatment. First, medication to get things under control is prescribed. Then you can expect to hear about lifestyle changes you will need to make such as quitting smoking, avoiding strenuous activity, and getting enough rest. But one of the biggest lifestyle changes that will be suggested is your diet. Since diet plays a large role in heart health, you will need to make some changes to help your heart heal.
Eat a Balanced Diet
You need to do your best to eat a balanced diet, which means consuming a variety of foods from multiple food groups to be sure that you are getting proper nutrition. You want to look for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and choose poultry and fish over red meat. When you do eat red meat, you want to choose lean cuts.
You should limit trans fat, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. Additionally, low fat or fat-free dairy products should be chosen over full fat alternatives.
Be Mindful of the Preparation
How you prepare the food is just as important as what foods you select. You want to cook the foods so that you maximize their nutritional value and don't do anything to make them unhealthy. Avoid frying foods, and bake or steam them instead. Try not to add sugar or condiments that are often full of sodium or sugar to your food – if you must, do so in moderation.
Basically, you are looking at a bland diet compared to how you ate before you were diagnosed with your heart condition, but there are ways to make the food tasty and pleasurable to eat, although some of it will just be an adjustment that you will have to get used to.
Watch Your Calories
No one likes to count calories, but you will need to at least be moderately aware of how many calories you are consuming in a day. The main idea is that you don't consume outside of the normal recommended range (1,600 to 2,000 calories a day) and you want to balance your consumption with your activity and try to burn a majority of the calories that you consume.
If you need some suggestions on serving sizes and how many servings you need to eat as a part of your new diet, the American Heart Association is a great resource.
These changes will be difficult at first, but you will get used to them in time. If you follow your doctor's suggestions, you may be able to make a complete recovery. Contact a company like Van Wert County Hospital for more information.