A heart attack diet, or a diet for prevention of heart attack, is specially designed to promote heart health and focus on heart risk conditions to be avoided which include high cholesterol, obesity and high blood pressure.
Heart Attack Prevention Diet: Foods to Consume
The following foods are known to promote heart health and reduce risk of heart attack-
- Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are very healthy for the heart as they are mostly low in cholesterol, fat, sodium and calories, while being high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- Grains: Whole grains and foods like rice, pasta, cereal based foods, corn, etc. are rich in iron, B vitamins and fiber, and complex carbohydrates that are beneficial for heart health.
- Healthy protein foods:seafood, fish, lentils, dried peas, eggs and nuts, which are good sources of iron, B vitamins and minerals. Eggs should be limited to 3 or 4 a week, including eggs that are used in cooking various dishes. Certain cooked meats and poultry also fall in this category. Skinless chicken and turkey or lean red meat should be used to decrease the percentage of saturated fat in the heart attack diet.
- Skimmed milk, low fat cheese, yoghurt or buttermilk (Dairy products are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, B vitamins, vitamins A and D, calcium and protein)
Heart Attack Prevention Diet: Foods to Avoid
- High Calorie and Fatty Foods: A diet with large proportion of saturated fats causes built up of cholesterol in the arteries, which become clogged, thus putting extra pressure on the heart and increasing the risk of heart attack. Such foods should be avoided or limited in consumption. Examples of such foods are whole milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, sour cream, lard and bacon. Vegetable oils like coconut oil and palm oil also contain saturated fats. Oil consumption should be limited to 5-8 teaspoons a day.
- Foods rich in trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, like fast food, packaged foods like chips, etc. which are meant to be kept fresh for a longer period of time should be avoided.
- Baked products, cream soups and cream sauces, croissants, etc.
- Fatty meats, organs like kidney and liver, processed meats, goose and duck.
- Shellfish like lobster or shrimp
- Salt and foods high in salt content
Heart Attack and Diet Tips
The following things should be kept in mind when following a heart attack diet-
• Cooking methods adopted should include baking, roasting, broiling, steaming, microwaving or boiling. Deep frying should be avoided.
• Before cooking meat, extra fat should be trimmed off
• Meats should be consumed in smaller proportions, and few days of the week should have a meat free diet.
• One's ideal body weight should be maintained
• A heart attack diet should be complemented by plenty of exercise.
Resources: Diet Plan for Heart Attack
The following resources can be accessed for more information on a heart attack diet-