What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have AFib?


Quick Answer

Some foods to avoid in large quantities for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation, or AFib, include alcohol, coffee, saturated fats and salt, according to Healthline. Other foods to avoid or limit include include fatty meat and other high-cholesterol foods such as organ meats, states Everyday Health.

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What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have AFib?
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Full Answer

Studies have shown that an AFib attack can be triggered by drinking alcohol, especially for those who have had previous episodes of paroxysmal AFib, Healthline notes. The Canadian Medical Association reports that even moderate drinking, which includes up to 21 drinks per week for men, can cause AFib in people with diabetes or heart disease. AFib patients should limit coffee and other drinks high in caffeine, states Healthline.

Patients with AFib must cut back on salt, as it worsens hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can trigger AFib. They should also avoid frozen and processed foods, as these contain high concentrations of sodium. Doctors recommend using fresh meats and vegetables and using herbs and salt substitutes to add flavor.

Patients who suffer from AFib are commonly prescribed blood thinning medication such as warfarin that prevents blood clots. Foods rich in vitamin K such as green leafy vegetables, spinach and cabbage may interfere with warfarin's effectiveness as a blood thinner and should therefore be avoided, notes Healthline.

For the most heart-friendly diet, no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol should be consumed every day, according to Everyday Health. Organ meats such as liver and shellfish such as shrimp and egg yolks have high concentrations of cholesterol and should be avoided or consumed in limited quantities.

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