The best diet for congestive heart failure is one that limits salt and sodium, is low in saturated fat and is alcohol free, states Group Health. It is best to limit meals to 500 milligrams of sodium each, and snacks throughout the day should not exceed 500 milligrams in total.
It is best to cut table salt from the diet and avoid using salt when cooking, according to Group Health. Vegetables that are fresh or frozen are good choices as well as fresh meats, chicken and fish. A person with congestive heart failure must avoid many items with a high sodium content, such as soy sauce and salad dressings, and use foods like balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and various herbs as a healthy, flavorful alternative. In general, he must also avoid processed foods, such as canned pasta or boxed items.
A person can achieve a diet low in saturated fat by avoiding fatty cuts of meat and limiting foods with added fat, notes Group Health. A person with congestive heart failure should eat low-fat dairy products and avoid fried foods. It is best to use olive oil or canola oil and to eat fish more often than red meat. Whole grain cereals and breads are good choices as long as they are low in sodium.