When being diagnosed with heart failure you will usually be prescribed medication to help treat it or you may even undergo surgery or need to use medical devices to help your heart to beat properly. On top of this medical intervention, there will usually be various lifestyle changes recommended to you.
One big factor you should take into consideration once diagnosed is your diet. Having a healthy diet has been known to relieve symptoms of heart failure and also prevent things from getting worse. If you’re looking for some diet advice to ensure that you’re eating the best foods whilst living with heart failure, keep reading today Pumping Marvelloushave put together a helpful guide.
Focus on nutrient-rich foods
Eating well and in a way that supports your heart doesn’t need to be complicated and doesn’t necessarily mean you need to follow a strict diet or prescribed meal plan. By simply focusing on specific foods that meet all of your body’s nutritional needs and eating a wide variety of foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and other essential nutrients you can make a big difference.
Some nutrient-rich staples that you should ensure you’re getting enough of include; fruits and vegetables, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, whole grains and also various lean animal products.
Cut back on sodium
Lots of medical professionals and heart failure management guidelines will recommend that you try to cut back on the amount of sodium you have in your diet in line with national guidelines.
Sodium is naturally found in many foods but the biggest source of sodium is salt. If you do like to season your food then try to replace salt and all high-sodium seasonings with other alternatives. Do not use Lo-salt alternatives as they contain potassium and it is important to maintain a healthy sodium potassium balance. Lemon juice and spices are all excellent alternatives to seasoning.
Be aware of saturated fats
It goes without saying that a diet which is high in saturated fat can raise your cholesterol and actually lead to further heart problems. Whilst lots of foods do naturally contain a lot of saturated fats, there are so many ways you can make better decisions for your diet. For example, simply trimming the visible fat off meat and removing the skin from poultry before cooking it can help reduce your intake of saturated fat.
As well as thinking about the foods you’re eating, consider the way that you’re cooking your food too. By baking, grilling, boiling, or steaming foods instead of frying them you will already be making a big difference.
Consider calorie restriction
Sometimes, doctors may recommend that you lose some weight to help reduce the stress on your heart. To lose weight, most people need to eat fewer calories as well as eating healthier foods. Always ask your doctor if it’s a good idea for you to cut your calories to lose weight as part of your management of heart failure before you do so as, this isn’t always the best decision for everyone.
Changing your food habits takes time, determination and practice. Don’t be disheartened if you feel like you’re struggling at the start, set realistic goals and ask for support from your family and friends.
Healthy eating with heart failure
Being aware of what you are putting into your body when you’ve been diagnosed with heart failure is so important and you should take a moment to think about what your current diet is like. Remember, you don’t have to make huge changes when adjusting your diet, it is all about just making smarter choices
Healthy eating is a big part of the management of heart failure and you may be surprised just how much of a difference it can make to the way you feel on a day-to-day basis. It is never too late to make some healthy changes and ensure that you do all you can to support your heart during this time.