Diet after a heart attack for men

Author Ольга Кияница


After a heart attack, it's very important at first time to adhere to the rules of healthy eating, as this will help to avoid a second heart attack. As in men this disease arises more often, the bases of a diet for the representatives of the stronger sex, affected myocardium will be considered

Myocardial infarction (MI) is a serious heart disease, which, in the absence of treatment or failure to comply with medical recommendations, can lead a patient to disability and even death. If, after an attack, you change your way of life, including food, in a timely manner, you can recover quickly and even begin to perform your usual duties.

When using the rules of dietary nutrition after myocardial infarction, the risk of a recurrent attack can be reduced by 73%.

The use of certain healthy foods for the heart can help reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and maintain body weight within normal limits. Otherwise, the heart and blood vessels will wear out and undergo repeated oxygen starvation, which generally has adverse consequences.

Video: What you can not eat after a heart attack or heart surgery

The basis of a diet after a heart attack

Diets for patients after myocardial infarction are designed taking into account the specific periods of the disease:

  • acute (2-10 days);
  • average (2-8 weeks);
  • after a heart attack (more than 8 weeks).

In addition, the severity of the disease and the development of complications, the need for observation in a special physiological regimen, the presence of concomitant diseases are no less important.

The nutrition of these patients is aimed at restoring the processes in the myocardium and improving the functioning of the heart. Dietotherapy helps to correct metabolic disorders and prevents the formation of atherosclerosis. Also an important task is to prevent weight gain and disturbances in the digestive system.

Men after myocardial infarction have a diet that reduces the energy value of food with a gradual restriction of salt, animal fat, cholesterol, nitrogenous substances. Proper nutrition should be enriched with ascorbic acid, lipotropic substances, potassium salts. Usually such a diet excludes foods that contribute to flatulence (grapes, fruits with rougher fiber, milk).

A study of the popular diet DASH (Dietary approaches to stopping hypertension) and other cardiovascular nutrition principles, published in the journal Nutrition in 2013, showed that such diets have significant benefits for patients with heart and vascular disease.

In the report, which analyzed six studies, it was found that after using a diet like DASH, the risk of a general cardiovascular disease is reduced by 20%, coronary heart disease by 21%, stroke by 19% and heart failure by 29%.

Products for inclusion in the diet after MI

Men after myocardial infarction should include in the daily diet a number of foods that are rich in healthy components:

  • Whole grains

"All whole grains are good, but barley and oats have something special - a fiber called beta-glucan," says nutritionalist / nutritionist Jill Weisenberger. "This fiber does not allow the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, thereby preventing it from entering the general bloodstream." Another good choice are buckwheat, bulgur, whole wheat and millet.

Bulgur is a grain of wheat that has been treated with boiling water. It is widely used in India, Pakistan, the Caucasus and the Middle East.

  • Fruits and vegetables

"Fresh fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of potassium, which can reduce the adverse effects of sodium and lower blood pressure," says Weisenberger. "Berries, in particular, are very useful for the heart." Pears and apples can help reduce the risk of stroke. Bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots and leafy green vegetables are all excellent sources of vitamins and carotenoids, such as an antioxidant, to enhance overall health. Cranberries are another good choice, because it helps reduce inflammation and promotes the widening of blood vessels. "Try to eat fruit or vegetables at every meal and snack," says Weisenberger.


  • Healthy fats

Not all fats are bad. Just choose "healthy" unsaturated fats and limit the intake of the total amount of fat that is eaten as a whole, because all fats contain a lot of calories. Weissenberger says that fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids - lake trout, mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines and albacore tuna - are good for the heart. "The fats entering into them can reduce the risk of abnormal heartbeats and reduce the formation of blood clots." Such, undoubtedly, will reduce the risk of developing repeated myocardial infarction. Oils from olives and canola are also an excellent source of healthy fats and a good substitute for conventional oil. "When some of the saturated fats - butter, fat and bacon, for example - are replaced in the diet with unsaturated fats, the cholesterol level is normalized," says the nutritionist.

  • Nuts, beans and seeds

There is no doubt that beans are good for the heart. "They contribute to lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of developing a heart attack," says Weisenberger, who recommends eating at least four servings of beans every week for lunch. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts and seeds are also important for heart health. "When you eat these foods regularly, you can reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or" bad "cholesterol," says the doctor.

  • Dark chocolate

If you really want something sweet, you should give preference to dark chocolate. Rich in flavonoids - another type of antioxidant - dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure and reduce the inflammatory process, often affecting the intima of the vessels, especially when developing atherosclerosis.

  • Freshly made tea

When you need something to calm down, it is better to turn to tea. Flavonoid-rich tea can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and also normalize blood pressure. In this case, do not use store tea in bottles, because it has a small amount of flavonoids.

Products to be abandoned when dieting after MI

  • Processed meats

How much is: no more than 2 servings per week.

Serving size: 60-85 gr.

Processed meat contains salt for preserving salt, nitrites or other preservatives. Among men, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami and other delicacies are especially popular, including turkey and chicken. Long-term observational studies have shown that the worst types of meat for the heart are those that are processed.

Why does it hurt the heart? It is likely that the high level of salt and preservatives found in processed meat pose a danger to the cardiovascular system.

  • Highly purified and processed grains and carbohydrates

How much is: do not eat or do not exceed 7 servings per week.

Serving size: 28 gr.

Many studies link the consumption of whole grains instead of starch-containing foods (eg potatoes) and refined carbohydrates (eg white bread, white rice and cereal breakfasts) with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and possibly stroke. Processed grains in turn contribute to weight gain, especially when consumed for a long time. In addition, highly purified grains increase blood pressure and cholesterol, and can worsen the function of blood vessels and intensify hunger, which leads to a repeated intake of food and a set of extra pounds.

Why does it hurt the heart? Refined or processed foods are white bread, white rice, low-fiber flakes, sweets and sugars, as well as other refined or processed carbohydrates. With their highest processing, many of the most useful ingredients contained in whole grains, such as dietary fiber, minerals, phytochemicals and fatty acids, are removed.Also, careful processing destroys the natural structure of the grain. For example, eating food from finely ground oats (for example, Cheerios) or grains (for example, usually finely ground whole grain bread) causes much higher levels of sugar in the blood than less processed foods such as bran or rock-ground products bread. Additionally, the treatment often adds a lot of ingredients that are less healthy, especially trans fats, sodium and sugars. Finally, some studies show that fructose is metabolized differently than other sugars, therefore increases the synthesis in the liver of a new type of fat.Fructose is about half the sugar in sweeteners, such as high fructose corn syrup or sucrose (found in cane sugar and beet sugar). This does not mean that you can not eat a piece of cake or white bread at all, just do not make this product part of the diet.

  • Non-alcoholic drinks and other sweet drinks

How many are: either do not use at all, or 200 grams per week.

Serving size: up to 30 grams per day.

It is proved that men in developed countries drink more and more sweet carbonated drinks, which significantly affects their health. In most cases, weight gain is from sweet drinks, especially sodas, sweetened fruit drinks and sports drinks.For example, a 350 ml soda can contains an equivalent dose of 10 teaspoons of table sugar. Dietary soda is offered at all without sugar or low in calories, but they do not contain nutrients.

Why does it hurt the heart? Saturated with sugar, drinks have a harmful effect on the heart like highly purified and processed carbohydrates. Studies also show that the human body is not able to determine the calories that fall into the liquid form, as well as the calories taken by solid foods. Therefore, if soda was added to food, then it is likely that approximately the same amount of calories will be consumed as the rest of the food. Calories of soda are simply "added." In addition to other harmful effects of highly purified and processed carbohydrates, sweet drinks also contribute to weight gain.

Sample menu for two days

The menu for healthy eating and strengthening the cardiovascular system excludes fat and salt. If you have heart problems, a healthy diet should not be too difficult. For an illustrative example, the menu is offered for two days, which shows that it is quite easy to organize a healthy diet for the heart.

  • Menu "Day 1"


1 cup of cooked oatmeal, sprinkled with 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana
1 cup skim milk


1 cup low-fat fermented milk product (1 percent or less), for example, plain yogurt with 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1/2 cup peach halves, canned in juice
1 cup of raw broccoli and cauliflower
2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, plain or with vegetable flavor
Sparkling water


120 gr of salmon
1/2 cup green beans with 1 tablespoon roasted almonds
2 cups of mixed green lettuce
2 tablespoons salad with low fat content
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 cup skim milk
1 small orange


1 cup skim milk
9 small crackers

Analysis of nutrients for "Day 1"

  • Calories 1562
  • Total fat 45 g
  • Saturated fat 10g
  • Monounsaturated fat 15 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 16 g
  • Cholesterol - 126 mg
  • Sodium 1.257 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 207 g
  • Dietary fiber 24 grams
  • Protein 92 g
  • Menu "Day 2"


1 cup ryazhenka, low-fat yogurt mixed with 3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup of orange juice enriched with calcium


1-2 slices of whole grain bread
1 plate of chopped lettuce, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped cucumber, 2 tablespoons feta cheese and 1 tablespoon low fat oil
1 kiwi
1 cup skim milk


Chicken roast (90 g) with eggplant (1 glass) and basil
1 cup brown rice with 1 tablespoon chopped dried apricots
1 cup steamed broccoli
120 ml red wine or grape juice


2 tablespoons unsalted nuts
1 cup low-fat yogurt

Analysis of nutrients for "Day 2"

  • Calories 1605
  • Total fat 30 g
  • Saturated fat 10g
  • Monounsaturated fat 10 g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 6 g
  • Cholesterol - 126 mg
  • Sodium 1264 mg
  • Total carbohydrates 242 g
  • Dietary fiber 24 grams
  • Protein 83 g

If you want to drink during this diet, then you can use clean water to hydrate the body.

Video: Food and disease. What you can and can not eat with a heart attack

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