It goes without saying that eating a healthy diet prevents heart attacks.
Though it may seem a bit like “closing the barn door after the horse has gotten out,” as the old saying goes, there are steps you can take to improve your diet after a heart attack that will prevent a second—possibly more serious—heart attack.
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that 24% of heart attack survivors were less likely to die if they started a healthy diet following a heart attack than those who continued with unhealthy eating habits.
People who improved their diet after heart attack showed a 29% improvement in mortality rates and a 40% lower risk of death from a heart attack than those who did not improve their diet, according to the study.
Best of all, improving your diet following a heart attack improves your chances of survival without having to use costly medication such as statins.
Here are just a few of the foods to eat after heart attack:
1. Whole grains: In addition to being high in fiber, whole grains also contain nutrients that play an important role in regulating healthy blood pressure.
2. Fruits & vegetables: This is probably the most obvious addition that you should make to your diet following a heart attack but fruits and vegetables are low in calories and contain nutrients that may aid in the prevention of future heart attacks.
3. Nuts: When consumed regularly, nuts such as walnuts and almonds can greatly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease or prevent a second heart attack.
4. Polyunsaturated fats: Believe it or not, when consumed in moderation, foods and cooking oils that contained polyunsaturated fats such as mackerel, herring, trout, corn oil and soybean oil, can be beneficial to heart health.
The other steps you can take to improve your diet following a heart attack are just common sense such as cutting red and processed meats out of your diet and eliminating sugary drinks from your diet as well.
If you’ve had a heart attack, you don’t need to be told twice to cut down on your sodium (salt) intake or eliminate it all together. Avoiding trans fats and omega 3 fats altogether, or at least greatly reducing your consumption to the point where foods containing the fats are a very occasional treat, is another way you can improve your diet following a heart attack.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Phrend, C., “Healthy Diet Aids Survival After MI,” MedPage Today web site, September 4, 2013;http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/MyocardialInfarction/41379, last accessed September 12, 2013.
Mayo Clinic Staff, “Heart Healthy Diet: 8 Steps to Prevent Health Disease,” Mayo Clinic web site;http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-healthy-diet/NU00196, last accessed September 12, 2013.
“Polyunsaturated Fats Q &A,” American Heart Association web site, October 29, 2010; http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Polyunsaturated-Fats_UCM_301461_Article.jsp, last accessed September 12, 2013.