Post-TAVR Include These 7 Foods in Diet for Heart Health
The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body carrying out the vital function of pumping blood to other body parts and organs. Any problem to the heart should be taken care of immediately so that it does not aggravate and lead to critical situations. However, there are times when surgical treatments are needed to restore the heart’s condition to normal. Among such treatments, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is an important one.
Eating right for heart health
It has been said since long that the right kinds of foods should be eaten for ensuring proper heart health. A Mediterranean style diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, unrefined foods and fish, is great for heart health. It becomes crucial to include heart-healthy foods in the diet after any kind of heart issue, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). There is a common notion that avoiding ‘bad’ foods will help preventing strokes and heart attacks; but more important is to include healthy foods in the diet. It is true that altering eating habits is not so easy. Try taking small steps at a time – include healthy items and discard packaged, fried and processed foods as much as possible.
Mentioned below are 7 food items, which when included in the diet improve heart health:
1. Oily fish for the omega-3s:
Including more amounts of fish in the diet can help in combating heart issues. Do away with fatty meats, which are rich sources of cholesterol and fats. Choose oily fish, which abound in omega-3 fatty acids. This component helps in keeping low levels of triglycerides in the blood. Triglycerides are actually blood fats and can cause heart problems. Fishes like salmon, herring and mackerel are cold-water, oily fishes which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Along with these fishes, other rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids include soybeans, flaxseed, canola oil and walnuts.
2. Fresh fruits and vegetables:
Powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, fiber and all other essential nutrients, fresh fruits and vegetables should be included in the diet for sure for good heart health. The best thing is that fruits and vegetables are low on the calorie content and help in healthy weight management. Various kinds of cardiovascular ailments can be kept at bay with these natural foods. Patients who have had TAVR should reduce water retention, so canned food varieties should be avoided as the sodium levels are high in these. About a teaspoon of salt in the whole day is sufficient for adults.
3. Legumes and beans:
Minimize cholesterol and fat intake by increasing the volume of legumes and beans in the diet. Try including lentils, peas and beans in the diet. Great sources of protein, these items can easily replace meat. Make tasty side dishes with the items or use them as filling in burgers, tacos or burritos.
Including abundant whole grains in the diet can help in regulating blood pressure and maintains healthy heart conditions. Popular whole grain food options include whole-wheat flour, barley, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, etc. whole grains are great sources of fiber in the body. Refrain from foods like white bread, doughnuts, biscuits, muffins, cakes, etc as these are mainly made of refined and white flour.
5. Skinless poultry:
Poultry (chicken, duck and turkey) is a great lean meat variant when compared to high-fat foods like pork, red meat and beef. If you love meat and want to take care of your heart health at the same time, choose lean meats, which have less than 10% fat. It is even better if the skin from the meat is trimmed off. This reduces intake of saturated fat.
6. Healthy oils and fats:
For ensuring heart health, right kinds of fats and oils should be used. Reduce intake of solid fats like margarine and butter for reducing cholesterol. Choose monounsaturated fats instead like canola oil or olive oil. Avocados, seeds, nuts and some varieties of fish abound in polyunsaturated fats and are great for a healthy heart. Seek advice from a doctor for the right amount of trans-fat and saturated fat you need.
7. Dairy products with low or no fat:
Yogurt, milk, cheese etc are available in varying fat varieties. While some are low on fat; some have no fat in them. These products are good for heart health as they are low in saturated fat, calories, fats and cholesterol. They are also rich in other nutrients. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products might not taste good initially, but you will get used to it with time.
Treat yourself occasionally
Eating heart-healthy foods does not mean that you cannot eat your favorite foods at all. Treat yourself with some chocolates, chips, cookies, ice-creams once in a while. Just see that you don’t make it into a habit.