logo1 (44K)


guidestar (5K)

social1 (3K) social1 (3K)
social1 (3K) social1 (3K)

Nutrition For Heart Diseases

Cardiomyopathy:

Summary: The goal is to decrease chances of obesity and clogged arteries with the healthiest options out there. Diligently eating healthy is the most important preventative to cardiomyopathy, which includes eating less salt, less fats, and more nutrients.  

  • Low saturated fats and low trans fats: lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish), low fat dairy and milk
  • Low salt and sugar intake to avoid high blood pressure
  • Too much water or fluids can put you at greater risks of heart disease, your heart will have to pump harder and exhaust more energy which can cause defects and fluid build up
  • Replace salty seasonings with lemon or pepper, garlic, or onions or other spices (ginger, cinnamon, parsley, oregano, so much more), one simple way to reduce salt intake.
  • Vegetables, about 6-8 a day
  • Watch out for foods with >350mg of sodium/Na, aka salt. Check ingredients and sides of packaged foods for salt amounts, it’s common to have a high amount in canned and processed foods. Frozen or fresh foods are healthier options and aren’t processed with excess salt
  • For children (and anyone who needs a more abundant diet with more calories), it’s important that they get a great amount of protein and fatty acids to support growth and energy, but of course still being cautious of too much (foods from animals like eggs, milk, meat for high protein intake, carbs from grain like pasta or bread and carbs from vegetables like corn or potatoes
  • To prevent inflammation, fatty fish and vegetable oils like soybean, canola, etc. that are high in alpha-linolenic acid
  • Meat and seafood is not only good for protein, fatty acids, and nutrients, but is also high in selenium which is a common link to many diseases including cardiomyopathy, even though this mineral is greatly overlooked

Patients with cardiomyopathy are at a greater risk of obesity and clogged arteries. Preventative measures such as eating healthy and avoiding carbs is not as straightforward at a first glance, especially when there are fats we still need to be consuming and stereotypically healthy foods that can actually be harmful. 

One of the most important food choices should be reducing salt intake to avoid high blood pressure. Salt is pretty much everywhere, especially in large quantities in processed or canned foods, so make sure to watch out for packaged foods with more than 350 mg of sodium. Frozen or fresh foods are some of the healthiest options without extra salt from processing. A simple trick to replace salt for seasoning is to replace it with lemon, pepper, garlic, onions, or other spices (ginger, cinnamon, parsley, oregano, etc.) 

For carbs and fats, we still need them! Just in moderation and from healthy sources. Proteins with low saturated fats and low trans fats include lean meats like chicken, turkey, or cod. You should also be drinking low fat milk and dairy products to maintain blood pressure levels. But to prevent inflammation, you should be eating fatty fish and vegetable oils like soybean, canola, etc. that are high in alpha-linolenic acid. Meat and seafood is not only good for protein, fatty acids, and nutrients, but is also high in selenium which is a common link to many diseases including cardiomyopathy, even though this mineral is greatly overlooked.

For children (and anyone who needs a more abundant diet with more calories), it’s important that they get a great amount of protein and fatty acids to support growth and to sustain energy. Incorporate foods from animals like eggs, milk, and meat for a high protein intake, carbs from grain like pasta or bread, and carbs from vegetables like corn or potatoes. It’s best to eat 6-8 vegetables a day.

Congenital heart disease: 

Summary: The main priority for their nutrition is to improve their growth rate and get more calories in a healthy way to make sure they are getting the proper nutrients they need without having to eat more, which can decrease their energy.

  • Foods with a lot of calories, their energy depletes faster from having to take more breaths, maximizing calorie intake whenever possible, adding cheese or butter to bread or making sure they drink a lot of milk/dairy
  • Still remember, you should still maintain a good and healthy diet to avoid more heart diseases (ex: atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, to still make sure you’re making healthy choices)
  • Calorie intake is also important to aid in growth, since CHD patients make growth failures
  • Children can get tired easily when feeding, they may also have malabsorption from reduced blood flow which may limit the amount of nutrients and calories their body is 
  • profiting from even with a good intake, malabsorption contribute to growth defects
  • Glucose is very important to maintain energy that all parts of their body needs
  • Bad blood flow is harmful to their heart because it will have to work harder to pump blood, which can exhaust its energy foods to increase blood flow: dark colors fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, grapes, spinach, berries, beets. Foods with omega 3 acids and nutrients (nuts, salmon, garlic, etc.)
  • Some children cannot simply just ‘eat more’ to increase body weight or gain more energy because the eating can be fatiguing and expends more energy for them,  they can take glucose polymer supplements to aid in their intake to gain energy
  • Food pumps can also be used if they are still calorie deficient and malnourished, they do not need to expend more energy to eat but they still get the nutrients and calories from the food
  • For infants, 24-30 calories per ounce of infant
  • Simple foods to add calories/protein: vegetable/coconut oil, peanut butter, nuts, butter/milk/dairy products that can easily be incorporated in many foods like putting on toast or adding to oatmeal, creamy sauces and dressings, bacon, ribs, chicken(((many more in the second link)))))
  • Enforce strict schedule for when to eat, eat frequently with healthy/nutritious snacks throughout the day to sustain energy, eat every 2-3 hours

The main priority for patients with congenital heart disease is to improve their growth rate and get more calories in a healthy way to make sure they are getting the proper nutrients they need without having to eat more, which can decrease their energy. Children can get tired easily when feeding, and they may also have malabsorption from reduced blood flow which may limit the amount of nutrients and calories their body is profiting from even with a good diet.

Patients should be consuming foods with a lot of calories because their energy depletes faster from having to take more breaths and need calories to keep up with their energy. Maximize calorie intake whenever possible, for example, by adding cheese or butter to bread or making sure they drink a lot of milk/dairy. Calorie intake is also important to aid in growth, since CHD patients make growth failures. Infants need 24-30 calories per ounce of body weight.

Some children cannot simply just ‘eat more’ to increase body weight or gain more energy because the eating can be fatiguing and expends more energy for them. Simple foods to add calories/protein include: vegetable/coconut oil, peanut butter, nuts, dairy products. Some of these can easily be incorporated in many foods like putting on toast or adding to oatmeal, creamy sauces and dressings to bacon, ribs, chicken, etc. Enforce a strict schedule for when to eat. Patients should eat frequently with healthy/nutritious snacks throughout the day to sustain energy, and should eat at around every 2-3 hours.

They can also take glucose polymer supplements to aid in their intake to gain energy. Glucose is very important to maintain energy that all parts of their body needs. Food pumps can also be used if they are still calorie deficient and malnourished. Because they do not need to expend more energy to eat, they are getting the right nutrients and calories from the food without having to waste any energy. Bad blood flow is harmful to CHD patients because the heart will have to work harder to pump blood, which can exhaust its energy. Foods that increase blood flow include: dark colored fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, grapes, spinach, berries, beets. And foods with omega 3 acids and nutrients like nuts, salmon, garlic, etc. Still remember to maintain a good and healthy diet to avoid other heart diseases like atherosclerosis or coronary heart disease.

Atrial Fibrillation:

  • Mediterranean diet: Plant based diet with a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains. Less gluten/bread that’s not very nutritious like white bread or processed foods
  • Unsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado oil for natural source of protein and carbs
  • Red Meats have high levels of saturated fats and can contribute to atrial fibrillation, they should aim to lower their cholesterol levels by avoiding red meats and processed foods
  • Caffeine should be reduced (coffee, energy drinks, tea, etc.)
  • Omega 3 is important for reducing heart risks, eat salmon, avocado, walnuts, cauliflower, and much more
  • Excess tyramine raises blood pressure and pain from increased AFib symptoms, avoid blue cheese, swiss cheese, sausage, pepperoni, salami, salty sauces like soy sauce, fava beans, dried fruits and citrus fruits (to deuce biogenic amines/BA)
  • Green vegetables like broccoli, kale, asparagus, etc. should be eaten moderately if you take warfarin to aid in more AFib. warfarin is meant to limit the amount of vitamin K in the body from creating blood clots, while green vegetables may counteract those processes since they are abundant in vitamin K
  • Protein is vital to prevent AFib risks, eat more lean meats and healthy proteins, have 10-20 extra grams of protein per day. The amount who have in total varies depending on weight https://www.calculator.net/protein-calculator.html use this if you want an exact amount
  • Fruits are important but still can have a lot of sugar, choose less sugary ones like peaches, berries, watermelon, etc.
  • Reduce foods with trans fats, which is found in the majority of common processed foods/junk foods  
  • Carbs are known to be main contributors to heart disease but we still need carbs to survive, just from better sources. Eating less carbs causes inflammation and oxidative stress (symptoms of stress: pain, fatigue, etc. from imbalance an of oxygen levels and antioxidants in the body
  • Adding on to eating a lot of vegetables, eat an array of color (think of adding as much variety as possible) ex: carrots, peppers, cucumbers, turnips, tomatoes, dark purples or reds are very healthy)

Patients with atrial fibrillation should keep up with a strict, healthy diet that may sound intimidating at first but, in reality, entails a wide range of natural foods and a colorful palette. The best diet is the meditarrean diet which is a plant based diet with a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Eat less gluten/bread that aren’t very nutritious like white bread or processed foods and instead eat whole grain breads. A tip to eating a lot of vegetables, the best diet includes eating an array of color (think of adding as much variety as possible). For example, different colored vegetables like carrots, peppers, cucumbers, turnips, tomatoes, etc. but darker purple or red vegetables are typically the healthiest.

Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, energy, etc.) and red meats. Red Meats have high levels of saturated fats and may contribute to atrial fibrillation. Aim to lower cholesterol levels by avoiding red meats and processed foods. Excess tyramine raises blood pressure and can cause pain from increased AFib symptoms. To prevent high levels of tyramine, avoid blue cheese, swiss cheese, sausage, pepperoni, salami, salty sauces like soy sauce, fava beans, dried fruits and citrus fruits (to reduce biogenic amines/BA). Also reduce foods with trans fats, which are found in the majority of common processed foods/junk foods.

Omega 3 is important for reducing heart risks and can be consumed through salmon, avocado, walnuts, cauliflower, and much more nutritious foods with omega 3. Fruits are important but still can have a lot of sugar so choose less sugary ones like peaches, berries, watermelon, etc. In addition to fruits, vegetables that are green like broccoli, kale, asparagus, etc. should be eaten moderately if you take warfarin to improve AFib. Warfarin is meant to limit the amount of vitamin K in the body from creating blood clots while green vegetables may counteract those processes since they are abundant in vitamin K.

Protein is vital to prevent AFib risks. You can eat more lean meats and healthy proteins, aiming to ingest 10-20 extra grams of protein per day. The amount you should have in total varies depending on weight. https://www.calculator.net/protein-calculator.html Use this if you want the exact amount of protein that you need. Carbs are known to be main contributors to heart disease but we still need carbs to survive. Eating less carbs causes inflammation and oxidative stress (symptoms of stress: pain, fatigue, etc. from an imbalance of oxygen levels and antioxidants in the body). Healthy sources of carbs include whole grains, fruits low in sugar, and vegetables.

Types of CHD’S: Atherosclerosis, Arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, aortic stenosis, myocardial infarction, mitral valve prolapse,,,,,,,, pericarditis in children Aortic valve stenosis, Atrial Septal defects diet.

Tetralogy of Fallot: 

  • Some patients may experience hypoxia where their skin turns blue due to an oxygen deficit, they may need diuretics, less salt in their diet, and intake a proper amount of water (based on water being necessary to replenish oxygen levels) (source 2)
  • Foods to increase oxygen levels consist of: red meat like beef, fish, beans, and leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, or celery (source 3)
  • Foods that are rich in iron are also very beneficial to increasing oxygen levels and maintain energy for tetralogy of fallot patients. These foods include 
  • Vitamins that you may be lacking include B-12 ((((lack of hemoglobin that is responsible for maintaining oxygen in your red blood cells, add more B12 by eating fish, beef, dairy products, eggs, and maybe even B12 supplements (source 4)))), Vitamin A (((also helps to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen in your blood, add more Vitamin A by eating orange colored fruits and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, mangos, etc.)))), (source 5)
  • Other foods for oxygen: lemons, sweet fruits like watermelon or pineapple, grains, and dates/ currents. (source 5)
  • Blood circulation is important to make sure that the oxygen is being distributed efficiently throughout the body and, most importantly, to the heart. Foods that support blood circulation are meant to release nitric oxide and allow blood vessels to expand. This makes it easier for blood to flow through and improve circulations. Foods that release nitric oxide consist of dark purple vegetables like beets or pomegranates, nuts, fruits high in Vitamin C like oranges, garlic, and spices like turmeric or cayenne pepper. (source 6) (source 7)
  • These patients are at risk of having irregular heartbeats. A heart healthy diet will prevent more complications such as clogged arteries or lack of nutrients to put less stress on the heart. Although it isn’t necessary to completely shift your diet, make sure to eat a proper amount of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, low fat and low salt foods, and good sources of protein. (source 8) (source 9)
  • Overall, a heart healthy diet is vital to keep the heart strong and to function at its full potential for patients that have experienced complications with a weak heart either not receiving a proper amount of oxygen or irregular heartbeats due to a damaged chamber in the heart. (source 9)

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Although Tetralogy of Fallot can only be cured with heart surgery, these food tips can be beneficial to maintain oxygen levels which are obstructed from TOF. Some patients may experience hypoxia where their skin turns blue due to an oxygen deficit, they may need diuretics, less salt in their diet, and intake a proper amount of water to replenish oxygen levels. 

Blood circulation is important to make sure that oxygen in the blood is being distributed efficiently throughout the body and, most importantly, to the heart. Foods that support blood circulation are meant to release nitric oxide and allow blood vessels to expand which makes it easier for blood to flow through and improve circulations. Foods that release nitric oxide consist of dark purple vegetables like beets or pomegranates, nuts, fruits high in Vitamin C like oranges, garlic, and spices like turmeric or cayenne pepper. 

Along with blood circulation, oxygen levels must be stable to maintain energy for Tetralogy of Fallot patients with foods that are rich in iron. Foods to increase oxygen levels consist of red meats like beef, fish, beans, and leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, or celery, lemons, sweet fruits like watermelon or pineapple, grains, and dates/ currents. 

Lacking vitamins like B-12 or Vitamin A can also weaken oxygen levels. A lack of hemoglobin, hemoglobin is responsible for maintaining oxygen in your red blood cells, can be improved by adding more B12 to your diet with fish, beef, dairy products, eggs, and, if necessary, B12 supplements. Vitamin A also helps to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen in your blood. Add more Vitamin A to your diet by eating orange colored fruits and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin, mangos, etc.

Tetralogy of Fallot patients are at risk of having irregular heartbeats. A heart healthy diet will prevent more complications such as clogged arteries or lack of nutrients to put less stress on the heart. Although it isn’t necessary to completely shift your diet, make sure to eat a proper amount of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, low fat/low salt foods, and good sources of protein. Overall, a heart healthy diet is vital to keep the heart strong and to function at its full potential for patients that have experienced complications with a weak heart either from not receiving a proper amount of oxygen or having irregular heartbeats.

Kawasaki Disease: 

  • Statistically, KD is most common in Asian descents which might be because they consume more soy. Soy contains high levels of isoflavones which interferes with the body’s ability to properly adhere to inflammatory response.
  • It is important to regulate cholesterol levels with a heart healthy diet.
  • Patients with Kawasaki Disease experience inflamed blood vessels and can seriously damage organs in the long run. Foods to decrease inflammation include foods with omega 3s like salmon, tuna, grapes, blueberries, and possibly incorporate traits of a Mediterranean diet for the best results.
  • Despite the obvious sources of soy coming from soy milk or soy nuts, other foods to avoid that are high in soy consist of tofu, edamame, bean sprouts, miso soup, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce just to name a few.  
  • A high intake of sugar has been a common contributing factor to worsen the symptoms of Kawasaki Disease, but isn’t a direct cause for it.
  • Thiamine deficiency, lack of B1 Vitamin, is another factor that is very dangerous and serves somewhat as a cascading effect that leads to other complications and abnormalities.
  • Foods that are high in thiamine include black beans, pork, acorn squash, bread/wheat products, freshwater fish like salmon or trout, and beef.
  • A Vitamin D deficiency has also shown to be linked to Kawasaki Disease because it also disrupts the inflammation process in your body which puts patients at a greater risk for inflamed blood vessels.
  • Foods high in Vitamin D include cod, mushrooms, fortified milk, and fortified orange juice (fortified means that there are extra nutrients and minerals added to the product). 
  • Breastfeeding over infant formula has also shown to decrease the chances of diseases, including Kawasaki Disease. Lactoferrin, lysozyme, and other enzymes/proteins found in breast milk act as a defense against diseases for infants, although it is not a 100% preventative for Kawasaki Disease.

—————————————————————————————————————————-

Statistically, KD is most common in Asian descents which might be because they are known to consume more soy. Soy contains high levels of isoflavones which interferes with the body’s ability to properly adhere to inflammatory response. Despite the obvious sources of soy coming from soy milk or soy nuts, other foods to avoid that are high in soy consist of tofu, edamame, bean sprouts, miso soup, soy sauce, and teriyaki sauce just to name a few. 

Breastfeeding over infant formula has also shown to decrease the chances of diseases, including Kawasaki Disease. Lactoferrin, lysozyme, and other enzymes/proteins found in breast milk act as a defense against diseases for infants, although it is not a 100% preventative for Kawasaki Disease.

Patients with Kawasaki Disease experience inflamed blood vessels and can seriously damage organs in the long run. Foods to decrease inflammation include foods with omega 3s like salmon, tuna, grapes, and blueberries. You can also possibly incorporate traits of a Mediterranean diet for the best results. In addition, a high intake of sugar has been a common contributing factor to worsen the symptoms of Kawasaki Disease so a healthy diet will be very beneficial for patients.

Thiamine deficiency, lack of B1 Vitamin, is another factor that is very dangerous and serves somewhat as a cascading effect that leads to other complications and abnormalities. Foods that are high in thiamine include black beans, pork, acorn squash, bread/wheat products, freshwater fish like salmon or trout, and beef.

A Vitamin D deficiency has also shown to be linked to Kawasaki Disease because it also disrupts the inflammation process in your body which puts patients at a greater risk for inflamed blood vessels. Foods high in Vitamin D include cod, mushrooms, fortified milk, and fortified orange juice (fortified means that there are extra nutrients and minerals added to the product). 

Writer: Verona Peterman 2020