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Heart Healthy Foods For Patients With A-Fib

Atrial fibrillation, also called a-fib, is a term used to describe irregular contractions in the upper chambers of the heart. As a result, the body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs. Eating the right foods can not only reduce the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, but also reduce symptoms for patients who have already been diagnosed.

Follow these tips for a heart healthy diet:

  1. Eat fish. When grilled, broiled, steamed, or baked, fish is a great source of heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Aim to eat fish at least twice a week.
  2. Limit cholesterol. You should strive for a total intake under 300 milligrams a day. A single egg yolk, which has over 200 milligrams of cholesterol, can use over 2/3 of your daily allowance. Knowing how much cholesterol is in the foods you like and eat can help you track and manage your intake.
  3. Decrease salt intake. Keep in mind that your total recommended daily salt intake includes the salt on the label as well as any salt you add to your meal at the table.
  4. Eat lots of fruits & vegetables. Filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal can ensure you get the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet and help you fill up on foods that are healthy, replacing processed sugars and simple carbohydrates.
  5. Reduce meat & dairy. Fatty meats and dairy contain saturated fats, which contribute to heart disease and other risks. Remove visible fat from meats before preparing or eating.
  6. Watch portion sizes. One of the most influential risk factors for heart disease is being overweight and one of the easiest ways to manage weight is to check your portion sizes. You can use a scale to determine serving size, use a smaller plate, eat at the table instead of in the living room, and dish up a serving instead of eating out of the container to help.

Eating whole grains and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake are also important ways to reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation. Our dietary program at Santé provides patients with delectable heart-healthy options during their short-term post-acute stay. To learn more about how we can help you, stop by or give us a call at Santé today!

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