Diet after a heart attack. What to eat to support your heart?

Myocardial infarction is actually necrosis of the heart muscles, which occurs due to heart muscle ischemia. The most common cause of myocardial infarction is the closure of an artery in the course of atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries, which occurs through the development of the so-called atherosclerotic plaque. According to statistics, heart attacks are responsible for every fifth death in Europe. People who have suffered this ailment are at a higher risk of recurrent cardiovascular events. It is always a good time to change your lifestyle, including your diet. What should a proper post-heart attack diet and overall heart diet look like?

Heart attacks are now occurring in younger and younger people, although the condition primarily affects the elderly. This ailment is largely determined by the condition of the body, and indirectly by lifestyle. That is why it is worth remembering that heart attacks can be prevented by taking more care of your health.

Symptoms of Heart Attack
Symptoms of Heart Attack

Factors increasing the risk of heart attack

Overweight and obesity are one of the important factors that increase the risk of subsequent heart attacks. For people with a BMI of more than 25 kg/m2, it is recommended to go on a diet with a caloric deficit to reduce body weight.

Especially dangerous is the so-called abdominal obesity, which is diagnosed on the basis of a significant amount of fat deposited in the abdominal and waist area. In the case of women, the waist circumference is then over 80 cm, while in men the healthy limit is 94 cm.

It is worth noting that drastic diets are not recommended after a heart attack. Losing excessive weight too quickly can be dangerous to your health. It is recommended to slowly reduce body weight, which is at the level of about 0.5-1 kg per week. Ideally, the diet should be done under the supervision of a dietician.

People who have had a myocardial infarction should realize that in their case, proper nutrition is very important. Therefore, it is worth thinking about changing current eating habits.

What to eat to relieve the burden on the heart?

The diet after a heart attack should be first of all adjusted to the stage of treatment and recovery

Cardiological diet after myocardial infarction should be designed in such a way as not to weaken but also not to overload the heart and the cardiovascular system. It should be adapted to the patient’s mood, physical activity, other ailments, intolerance, and taste.

In the case of people with lower activity, a diet of 20 kcal per 1 kg of the body is recommended, while in fit people, practicing sports, it can reach 30 kcal per 1 kg of body. However, people who are overweight and obese should use energy-reduced meals. In this case, the best diet can be recommended by a doctor or dietician.

Change of habits is essential!

Many people return to their old eating habits after a heart attack. This is a serious mistake that can lead to a repeat cardiovascular event. The main goal of a proper cardiovascular diet, as mentioned earlier, is to support the heart and cardiovascular system.

In the long run, a diet for people after a heart attack can improve the condition of the cardiovascular system and also reduce the risk of another myocardial infarction. Also, it supports the function of the whole body and helps to lose excess weight.

A properly suited cardiovascular diet should be planned for people after a heart attack or after experiencing other cardiovascular diseases. That is why it is recommended to take the help of a nutritionist. When creating a diet, the specialist takes into account the patient’s condition, but also other factors, for example, undergoing diabetes, incorrect blood tension, current body weight, level of physical activity, or food intolerances.

Is it possible to drink alcohol after a heart attack?

It is also worth noting that after myocardial infarction, alcohol drinking should be reduced, and preferably abandoned completely. The only permitted alcoholic beverage is dry red wine. It contains resveratrol, which supports the health of the heart. The permitted amount is a glass (100 ml) with dinner.

Alcohol is not recommended for people who have had heart attacks because it contains a lot of calories, increases blood pressure, and burdens the liver. Drinking alcoholic beverages can increase cholesterol levels, which leads to the development of atherosclerotic plaque and thus a higher risk of a heart attack.