Diet after a heart attack – what and how to eat to support a sore heart?

For people who have undergone myocardial infarction, proper nutrition is just as important as taking regular medication.What and how to eat so that the heart will recover after the heart attack?

The diet for a person after a heart attack depends primarily on the stage of its treatment and convalescence.And so, on the first day after the attack, when the patient may feel nausea and vomit, he usually uses a liquid diet.It is gentle to the digestive system and maintains adequate hydration important for the proper functioning of the heart.In the following days after the infarction an easily digestible diet is introduced, which relieves the tired organism and provides it with nutrients.Finally, the patient is advised a low-calorie cardiological diet.

The post-infarction diet so that it does not weaken or overload the heart and the entire cardiovascular system must be matched to the degree of patient’s physical activity.The caloric value of meals for people after a heart attack will therefore vary.For less active it will be 20 kcal per 1 kg of body in one day, for more efficient – approx. 30 kcal.The exception are overweight and obese people who have had a heart attack.In their case, the daily energy value of meals should be reduced.To what level – the doctor decides about it.


Here you can find supplements for healthy cardiovascular system – CLICK


Post-infarction diet – what are the tasks?

A properly arranged cardiological diet for people after a heart attack has to fulfill two main tasks.First of all, it is supposed to improve the lipid profile, i.e. lower the level of cholesterol and its LDL and HLD fractions and triglycerides.And secondly, the products that the patient eats after a heart attack are to contribute to the reduction, over time, of the removal of atherosclerotic lesions in the vessels that bring blood to the heart.

Diet after a heart attack – step by step

Detailed recommendations in the cardiodological diet differ from each other.When determining the diet, the doctor takes into account not only the condition of the heart and its vessels after a heart attack, but also other diseases of the patient, e.g. hypertension, type 2 diabetes, overweight or obesity.Therefore, if you are having a heart attack, systematically use consultations in the diet counseling center to change your diet along with the progress in treatment

However, there is a certain set of universal nutritional advice that should be followed by every sowling.


Read also: How to lower cholesterol?


  1. Do not overeat.

Plan 5-6 meals for the whole day at regular intervals, every 3-4 hours.Meals should be small, and their calorific value evenly distributed throughout the day.Avoid additions and snacks between meals.A well-filled stomach will make it difficult for you to breathe and properly oxygenate the heart.It will also force the organism to work harder while transforming food into energy.

  1. Forget about caffeine.

Especially in the first period after a heart attack.Exclude from the diet all drinks that raise blood pressure, so coffee, black tea, carbonated beverages with caffeine and energy, and even caffeine caramels.If you are having a heart attack, caffeine can be a threat to your heart.And if you have failed to refrain from drinking a few small black people and you notice such symptoms as eg nervousness, vomiting, tremor, rapid heartbeat – immediately report to the doctor.

  1. Change the cooking technique.

Pans and dishes for deep frying or breading and stewing will not be needed anymore.Pull out the cooking pots, steam cookers and grill pans on top.

  1. Use salt only in minimal amounts.

The best daily dose of salt for you is 3.5 grams, or one flat teaspoon.How to achieve such a result, or better – even smaller?Here are some simple ways.Rice, pasta, groats or potatoes, ie carbohydrate salt products, always after half a normal serving.They will keep salty taste like when cooking.Do not put on the dishes that are already cooked.Do not use spices and bouillon cubes composed of many ingredients, including salt.And it is best to replace the salt with aromatic spices such as, for example, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary.


You can read also: Coconut oil and cholesterol


Source saturated fats and health effects

Saturated fats are found primarily in animal products, such as butter, cheese and eggs, and their important vegetable sources are coconut and palm oil. Saturated fats are mainly regarded as energy storage for the body, but they also have many other functions. The latest research results show that saturated fatty acids do not contribute to increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, as is commonly thought.

Fatty acids are molecules in the form of a chain of varying length depending on the number of carbon atoms. There are short-, medium- and long-chain fatty acids that have slightly different properties. Saturated fatty acids are those in which all of the carbon atoms are connected to each other in a single by binding (as opposed to unsaturated KT, where there are double bonds between carbon atoms.) The type of these bonds significantly affects the properties of fats. Saturated fat is the vast majority of animal fat, and coconut oil is the most important of vegetable sources. in room temperature, solid consistency and white color Like all other fats, they do not dissolve in water, saturated fats are very good for frying because they have a high smoke point (the temperature at which the fat begins to burn) -they are resistant to high temperatures and under their influence they do not undergo chemical changes which are detrimental to health.


Saturated fat, official recommendations for consumption

World nutrition organizations, as well as the Polish Institute of Food and Nutrition, recommend a significant reduction of saturated fatty acids supplied with the diet, sometimes using the term that their consumption should be as low as possible. The American Heart Association recommends that saturated fat would cover a maximum of 5-6 percent of the dailyenergy requirement, which in a standard diet of 2000 kcal is 120 kcal, or about 13 grams of saturated fat per day.

According to the official position, saturated fat intake affects the increase in blood cholesterol levels and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, e.g. atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction.


Saturated source fats in food

In foods, there is usually a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in different proportions. Food that is a source of saturated fat is:


clarified butter,



coconut oil,

Palm oil,


yellow cheese,

curd cheese,

sour cream,


meat beef, pork, mutton, poultry with skin,



ready confectionery prepared with the use of fat,

fried food is ready.


Worth knowing

Fats saturated functions in the body

Saturated fats are considered primarily as a concentrated source of energy (1 g of fat contains 9 kcal).However, they perform various other functions in the body

they are carriers of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K in food and participate in their transport in the body

subcutaneous fat tissue is a thermal protection of the body

they pad the abdominal cavity and protect internal organs from damage

butyric acid regulates the expression of several genes and may be important in preventing the development of cancer cells

palmitic acid is involved in the regulation of hormone secretion

palmitic and myristic acid are involved in the transmission of signals between cells and in immune reactions

myristic acid can regulate the bioavailability of polyunsaturated fatty acids

Lauric acid is often a raw material for the production of omega-3 fatty acids when these are absent from food.


Saturated fats or should you avoid them?

Currently, based on the increasing amount of meta-analyzes and the publication of new research results, it is moving away from the statement that saturated fat intake had a significant impact on increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The hypothesis on the influence of saturated fatty acids on high cholesterol and heart disease was set over 50 years ago and is still well established in the food and human consciousness environment, but with the current state of knowledge and dietary research methodology, many of the claims can be made It is likely that it was also pushed through for political reasons, and more scientists with an established position are inclined to believe that the lipid hypothesis was based on erroneous conclusions and poorly conducted research. new research in official recommendations of food organizations. This seems to be surprising for the world’s organizations, the more so because early studies of the effects of a low fat diet in the 1960s showedthat it has no beneficial effect on reducing the risk of heart disease and death due to heart attack, although it leads to improved lipid profile, decrease in cholesterol and body weight, or indicators that are considered risk factors for cardiovascular disease.In addition, reports of an erroneous lipid hypothesis have been appearing in scientific publications since the 1990s with ever-increasing frequency. ”

Nutrition sciences are developing very dynamically and we need to be prepared for changes in nutrition recommendations.” Researching new findings, often completely contradictory to well-established theories, is a consequence of the advancing state of knowledge and technological progress, allowing for more in-depth and thorough analysis. According to the current state of knowledge, there is no reason to avoid eating saturated fats, for example from cheese, eggs and meat, as in other aspects of life, it is best to keep moderate and eat saturated fats besides unsaturated ones.


Impact of saturated fat on health – the latest results of research


Saturated fatty acids do not cause an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke

Based on a meta-analysis (secondary analysis of results from independent research) made by Dr. Ronald Krauss’s team of 21 epidemiological studies involving a total of 347 747 cases, it was unequivocally found that consumption of saturated fatty acids does not increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and their substitution with unsaturated fats in The diet has no impact on the reduction of the risk of heart disease and mortality due to cardiovascular events, which is the result of more and more studies being published.


Saturated fatty acids can lower the risk of stroke

Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the high-developed and developing countries after myocardial infarction.” According to some studies, saturated fat intake may translate into a lower risk of stroke.These results are not always statistically significant, but such conclusions were drawn, among others, on the basis of a large experiment conducted in Japan with the participation of nearly 60,000 men and women who have been subject to observation for 14 years.


Saturated fatty acids raise the level of” good “HDL cholesterol

Increased total cholesterol when consuming saturated fatty acids is also accompanied by an increase in HDL” good “cholesterol, which is considered to be beneficial for the circulatory system, which is mainly demonstrated by lauric acid, as confirmed in the meta-analysis published in 2003 in \” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. “The fact that total cholesterol increases due to the intake of saturated fatty acids is primarily associated with the increase in HDL in the blood is often overlooked and ignored, especially in campaigns against animal saturated fat.


Saturated fats increase the size of LDL lipoproteins

A lipoprotein with low LDL density called ” bad “cholesterol is associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it turns out that there are subtypes of LDL

small LDL that easily penetrate the walls of the arteries and can increase the risk of heart disease,

large LDLs that have a low-density structure and are not associated with the risk of heart disease.

Saturated fatty acids increase the size of LDL particles, so it can be concluded that they do not contribute to the formation of unfavorable particles.