If you did not listen to your doctor before and always avoided the nagging advice of your wife, you can be sure that once you experience a heart attack, preventive nutrition for a healthy heart is going to be on your mind 24X7. If you were lucky enough to come out of a heart attack alive, count your blessings and get set to change your lifestyle.
While there are a number of reasons why you may have experienced a heart attack, they could be related to stress as well and what you should know is that your eating habits have definitely helped elevate the risks. Paying attention to healthy heart nutrition is a must and knowing what to avoid and what to eat should be your priority if you want to live a long and healthy life.
Your doctors will advice you on general guidelines on what you should eat. You could also choose to speak with and consult a holistic nutritionist who specializes in diet and lifestyle to get back to good health.
A few foods that should find place on your plate just after you have experienced a heart attack are discussed below. However, it is important that you consult a holistic nutritionist or cardiologist before you put together a meal plan for yourself.
1) Low Cholesterol and Low Fat Foods
Studies suggest that after a heart attack, 7 percent or less of your calorie intake should come from saturated fats, 300 mg or less should come from cholesterol sources and one percent or zero percent should come from trans fats. What this basically means is that you have to become a lot more conscious about what you eat by paying attention to labels and understanding how much fat content resides in the foods you eat and put together a plate accordingly.
It is advisable that you replace solid oils (margarine or shortening) and most of liquid oils with healthy saturated fats like butter (moderation) and switch to ghee and coconut oil for cooking purposes. Adjust your diet to include lean meats and exclude or at least limit fried foods, pastries, cakes, cookies, pies and doughnuts.
2) Go low on Sodium
Too much sodium in your diet can cause your blood pressure to rise (in most situations) and lead to water retention in your body. A diet low in sodium helps maintain and reduce blood pressure just after you have experienced a heart attack.
A low sodium diet means that you have to say goodbye to dangerous processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausages and also stay away from canned soups, frozen dinners and boxed dinners. In case you continue to eat canned beans or vegetables, make sure you rinse them well so as to clean off the excess sodium. Make sure condiments like Ketchup, table salt and soy sauce are out of your reach.
3) High on Fiber. High on Life
Foods that are rich in whole grains and high in fiber have a number of heart health benefits. These foods not only help you stabilize your blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels, but also help in ensuring that you feel satisfied while you delay your hunger. A few studies suggest that if you wish to reduce your risk of your heart acting up again, consuming at least three servings of whole grains a day, increasing intake of cereal fiber by 10 grams per day and eating oats at least five times a week can indeed help. Whole grain foods like oatmeal, barley whole grain breads, pastas, dinner rolls, buckwheat are all foods that can help your heart.
4) Exploit the goodness of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Consumption of the freshest fruits and vegetables is bound to boost heart health. Studies suggest that at least 8 or more servings of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables promote good heart health. These are all encompassing as they contain low sodium levels, are high in fiber, low in fat and can provide your body with a host of nutrients. To extract maximum benefit, it is advisable that you eat them in their freshest form instead of cooking them first. You can easily make fruits and vegetable a part of eight servings, by making fresh fruit smoothies, soups, juices, by adding them into your sauces and making beautiful stews.
Take an interest in your health; don’t wait for your heart to skip a few beats before you take notice. Respect your body, respect your life and don’t wait for your spouse to nag you, but take some efforts to get healthy again yourself.