Patients recovering from heart surgery should choose a variety of healthy foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium, according to the University of Southern California. A doctor may prescribe a specific diet plan for patients with other conditions, such as diabetes.
Protein, vitamins A and C, and sometimes zinc are often needed in greater quantities during the recovery process, according to Cleveland Clinic. Lean meats, such as poultry, pork, fish and beef, are good sources of protein, as are beans, lentils and split peas. Dairy products should be low fat or fat free, and Greek yogurt is a good choice for its higher protein content.
Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, such as oranges and pineapple, as well as vegetables such as broccoli, kale, peppers, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes, explains Cleveland Clinic. Excellent sources of vitamin A include Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and dried apricots. Dark green leafy vegetables are another good source of vitamin A. Patients with zinc a deficiency should include fortified cereal and dairy products in their diet, as well as sesame or pumpkin seeds.
In order to prevent coronary artery disease, patients must monitor and restrict overall fat intake after surgery, notes the University of Southern California. This includes monitoring the effect that various medications have on fat levels in the blood and replacing saturated fats with healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.