Q:

How should I change my eating habits after a heart attack?

A:

Quick Answer

It is important for individuals recovering from a heart attack to consume a heart-healthy diet that includes vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Such patients should limit their intake of simple carbohydrates such as white sugar and white flour, while eating more potassium-rich foods such as salmon, chicken, halibut and sweet potatoes.

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A diet that is low in trans fats but high in monosaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids is essential for heart patients, as it helps to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and lower blood pressure levels, explains the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. This diet also can help to reduce the risk of artery inflammation and diabetes.

Individuals following a heart-healthy diet should lower their intake of high-fat foods such as red meats, cheeses and pastries, advises the Mayo Clinic. Healthy breakfast items include oatmeal, bananas and low-fat milk. Lunch, snack and dinner items that are essential for optimal heart health include low-fat cream cheese, Melba toast, canned peaches, turkey burgers, salad greens and green beans. It is also a good idea for heart patients to avoid processed foods, as well as foods that have a high sodium content.

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