7-Day Diet Plan for Heart Surgery Patients

7-Day Diet Plan for Heart Surgery Patients

Following a heart-healthy diet is important for everyone, but it is crucial for patients who will be undergoing heart surgery in the near future. Following a seven-day diet plan that includes heart-healthy choices can help patients enter surgery in the best possible health, which may reduce complications during and after the procedure. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and advice related to your diet and other lifestyle choices.

Heart-Healthy Diet
Make healthy food choices when following a seven-day diet plan prior to heart surgery. The best diet for most heart surgery patients is one that is low in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. The University of Southern California suggests a diet with less than 2,000 mg of sodium per day for heart surgery patients. Patients with other medical conditions, such as diabetes, may need to modify their diet plans further to include foods low in sugar.

Choose fresh, canned or frozen fruits that do not contain added sugar. Fresh and frozen vegetables are heart-healthy options as well. Canned vegetables often contain added salt, so always check the labels. Avoid fatty cuts of meat. Choose fresh or frozen fish, poultry without the skin and lean cuts of pork and beef. Unsalted peanut butter, tofu, dried beans and unsalted nuts are excellent sources of protein for patients who choose to avoid meat.

Limit caffeinated beverages and drink fruit juices without added sugar, low-sodium vegetable juices, lemonade and soy milk instead. Avoid high-fat dairy products and cooking oils. Try low-fat yogurt and cheeses, such as skim mozzarella, for calcium. Choose low-fat salad dressings and unsalted margarine instead of fatty dressings and sauces and butter. Use natural herbs to flavor cooking instead of dressings and sauces with high sodium and fat content.

Mediterranean Diet
According to the Mayo Clinic, a 2007 study found that people who consumed a Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish reduced their risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Some heart surgery patients may benefit greatly from adapting a Mediterranean diet prior to their surgery dates.

The Mediterranean diet includes about nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day and little to no red meat. The diet consists of a lot of fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids that can help lower cholesterol. Avoid fried fish and choose grilled instead. Choose olive oil over canola oil or vegetable oil for cooking when following a Mediterranean diet. Use fresh herbs for flavor instead of salt. Choose whole-wheat versions of bread and pasta. The Mediterranean diet often includes a glass of red wine every day for its antioxidant properties and its ability to help reduce the blood’s ability to clot. Check with your doctor before including wine in your seven-day program, as he may want you to avoid alcohol prior to surgery.