People who are diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, previous heart attack, hyperlipidemia or dyslipidemia, and obesity, are prescribed to have a cardiac diet. A cardiac diet is a healthy eating plan that can be followed by people even if they do not have any of these health conditions, as a preventive management program or as a part of a healthy heart treatment plan. Such a diet includes heart-healthy foods, like whole grains, fiber, fruits and vegetables. On the other hands, harmful foods like different types of fats, sodium, cholesterol and caffeine are prohibited. A cardiac diet helps to improve overall health and promotes weight loss as well. Read on further to know the foods that can be consumed while following a cardiac diet.
Cardiac Diet Plan & Food List
Foods To Eat
- Eat foods rich in soluble fiber, as they help to remove the harmful cholesterol (LDL) from your body’s coronary arterial walls. They also aid in weight management, by giving you a sense of fullness early on.
- Include whole grains, such as whole wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ, brown rice, triticale, kamut, barley, quinoa, barley, oats and oat bran, in your diet. Oats and barley are highly recommended for removing the bad cholesterol from your body. Consume 10 grams of whole grains daily, to get the maximum health benefits.
- Large variety of fruits and vegetables, such as raspberries, blueberries, pomegranates and broccoli, are known for being nutrient-rich cardiac diet foods. Most of the nutrients are found in fresh, steamed or frozen varieties.
- Even low-fat proteins, found in legumes and lentils, are rich in fiber. Legumes include a variety of beans, such as kidney beans, black beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans and split peas.
- Foods like poultry (without skin), seafoods, soy food, and lean cuts of meat and low fat dairy products are also low-fat protein sources.
- While consuming oils, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils are recommended for a cardiac diet. These are found in plant-based oils, such as canola, sunflower, peanut, cottonseed, vegetable and olive oil.
- Include foods high in isoflavones, like tofu, tempeh, edame (soy beans), soy milk and other soy products, in your diet. American Heart Association has stated that these foods protect your cardiovascular system.
- Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids eliminate harmful cholesterol from your body, while increasing the good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Such foods include halibut, herring, lake trout, mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines and salmon. Consume fish at least twice in a week.
- You can substitute fish with fish-oil supplements, in case you do not like the former.
- Foods high in plant sterols contain antioxidants and cholesterol-lowering properties. These foods include avocados, walnuts, ground flax seed and sunflower seeds.
Foods To Avoid
- Avoid and/ or limit foods high in saturated and/ or trans-fats, as they increase bad cholesterol in your bloodstream.
- Saturated fats are commonly found in animal products, such as red meats, organ meats, deep-fried foods, whole-fat dairy products like butter and egg yolk, processed foods and various fast foods. So, they have to be avoided as much as you can.
- Trans-fats are found in commercially prepared baked goods as well, such as pies, energy bars, pastries, cakes and cookies. You have to keep them at bay.