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8 Diet Tips to remember after a Cardiac Bypass Surgery

Care24 Administrator Heart

Post-surgery most patients experience fatigue, loss of appetite, and nausea. However, your recovery period will ensure that your body heals well, replenishes its blood supply, and increases your strength, stamina, and endurance gradually.

Loss of appetite or a feeling of tiredness to eat may prevail for a few days during recuperation period. This is a common symptom; however, remember that you need enough nourishment to enable your body to heal and get stronger.

Diet Tips To Follow Post-Surgery

A healthy diet is fundamental for recovery, along with exercise, eating healthy can significantly accelerate the healing process.

1. Balanced Diet Rich in Fruits and Vegetables

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, veggies and adequate water. This helps to regulate and normalise your bowel movement.
  • Eat small meals at frequent intervals if your appetite is low, instead of three large meals.
  • Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants. This prevents LDL or bad cholesterol from depositing in the arteries all over again.

2. Fibre And Starch

  • Soluble fibre helps to stimulate the liver to produce HDL. HDL is also known as good cholesterol.
  • Soluble fibre is found in oatmeal, lentils, and beans.
  • Do not have laxatives unless prescribed by your physician
  • Choose whole grain high fibre foods.
  • Increase carbohydrate intake mainly potatoes, pasta, rice, and vegetables.

3. Drink Lots Of Water

  • For maximal use of soluble fibre by your body, drink at least 3 litres of water every day.

4. Good Fats

  • Increase intake of good fats. This helps lower levels of LDL.
  • Best fats are monounsaturated fats such as olive, coconut, grapeseed and groundnut oils.
  • Should consume less than 7% of calories from saturated fats
  • Should consume less than 1% calories from transfats. Fast food is the major source of transfat.
  • Take in less than 300 mg dietary cholesterol per day.
  • Select fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  • Instead of frying your foods, opt for baking, grilling, steaming, or boiling your food.
  • Foods high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are lean meats, low dairy products, and salmon. Vegetable fats such as olive, corn, and seasame oil and soyabean and tub margarine are also good.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • These fatty acids help prevent inflammation of arteries. These inflammations are responsible for rupturing the fats accumulated in the arteries, which may lead to blockages.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, flaxseeds, and nuts.
  • Consume fish especially oily fish twice a week.

6. Cut Down On Both Sugar And Salt

  • Choose foods with little or no added salt.
  • Aim for a daily intake of 1500 mg of salt per day. Not more than 2300 mg per day.
  • Do not have food or beverages with added sugar.
  • Eat whole fruit instead of juices.

7. Calorie Intake

  • The intake of calories should be calculated according to the amount of daily physical activity and your body weight.
  • Recommended body weight needs to be maintained with regular exercise.

8. Keep Away From

  • Fried foods that are rich sources of sodium and fats and root cause of heart disease.
  • Alcohol adds triglycerides to the blood, making it difficult for your heart to pump blood.
  • Refined processed grains as they are rich in sugar. During processing, healthy parts of the grain such as bran and germ are lost. This leads to loss of vital nutrients and fibre.
  • Red meat because it is full of cholesterol.

Always remember that reduced intake of processed, refined, and fried food is vital to stay healthy. Replace this with wholesome food such as fruits and vegetables. This dietary routine coupled with regular exercise can help you keep your heart healthy forever.