One of the requirements for managing heart diseases is lifestyle change, and that includes a change in the diet. Aside from genetic factors, the main cause of cardiovascular is the kind of food the patient eats, which are full of cholesterol and saturated fats. Thus, a diet modification is necessary to prevent complications and maintain quality of life despite the sickness.
The most important thing in changing the diet of a person with heart disease is reducing the amount of cholesterol and saturated fats he or she takes. Trans-fatty acids should be avoided, since these increase the levels of bad cholesterol while lowering the amounts of good cholesterol. Foods with saturated fats, such as red meat and dairy products, can still be consumed, but only in moderation. Consume more food with unsaturated fat, such as plant-based foods. In addition, use fats containing high amounts of monounsaturated fat, such as peanut oil and olive oil, or polyunsaturated fats, as in sunflower oil, soybean oil, and corn oil.
Foods with omega-3 fatty acids are highly recommended, because these can lower triglyceride levels in the body. Sources of omega-3 fatty acid are salmon, walnuts, flax seed and soy milk. These are also found in canola oil and olive oil, so it can be used in cooking the patient’s food.
Get right amounts of protein from other sources, such as fish and legumes, instead of red meat and dairy products. Although red meat and dairy products contain healthy amounts of protein, these also contain high amounts of saturated fats. There should be a balance between the amounts of red meat, dairy, fish and protein-rich vegetables.
The amount of calorie intake should also be reduced. Excessive calories cause weight gain, and overweight people are often at greater risks of having severe heart diseases and complications. Excess weight also makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood. Calorie intake should therefore be monitored regularly.
Salt levels in food should also be reduced. Too much sodium can elevate the blood pressure to dangerous levels, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Sodium intake must not exceed 1.5g per day.
It is also recommended for people with heart disease to consume more fruits and vegetables. These contain vitamins and minerals that are healthy for the heart. These also contain fiber, which prevent bad cholesterol from being absorbed into the body. They also help in maintaining weight because they have low amounts of calories and give the feeling of satiety. Other sources of fiber include grains and cereals, so these should also be included in the diet. The recommended amount of fiber intake is 25-35g per day.
Lastly, make sure that meals are taken regularly. Skipping meals often causes overeating, thus unnecessary weight is gained. Eating regularly can also help in burning fats and regulating blood sugar more efficiently.
Do not say that it is the end of the world when you have a heart disease. Combining proper diet with enough hydration, adequate exercise, and medications, you can still live a normal and longer life.