Many of those recovering from heart surgery should take it as a wake-up call to begin living a healthy life. The simple process of replacing bad habits with good and fun habits can make all the difference in the rate of your recovery. A simple but carefully planned diet can help your body repair and heal from the wounds of surgery.
You should limit the amount of cholesterol and fats in your new diet and stay away from foods containing saturated fats as a diet high in these will lead you to high levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides which can cause heart attacks. Switch to foods containing unsaturated fats like sesame oil, olive oil and margarine. Foods rich in omega 3-fatty acids like tuna, salmon and mackerel can dramatically improve your recovery as well. Switch to olive or canola oil when cooking and then only in carefully moderation. Opt for baking, broiling or poaching as new ways in which to cook your food.
You will also have to adjust the quantity of salt that you consume as a diet high in sodium will cause you to have a slower recovery by giving you high blood pressure which will be hard on your heart especially after surgery. The American heart Association has recommended that a person should ingest less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day. Stay away from prepackaged and processed foods as these are more than likely very high in salt. Also avoid high sodium foods like pickles, pork, chili and stews, all fast foods, all soft drinks (and that means all of them even the flavored ones like banana), cured meats and sauerkraut.
The amount of protein that you eat will make a big difference in your recovery as well and a person recovering from surgery (or anyone for that matter) should consume around 1 Gram of protein for every 2 ½ pounds of body weight. Ones choice of protein can be centered on keeping your sodium, fat and cholesterol limits always in mind. Remember that the best and healthiest sources of protein are fatty fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel also beans, nuts and meat like chicken.
In the mornings you can have egg white omelet’s filled with vegetables, cottage cheese and or tuna. Lunch can have you eating a delicious grilled chicken breast salad with an olive oil vinaigrette and for dinner you can choose a oriental vegetable stir fry with a light fresh fruit dessert. Always be mindful to have occasional snacks in between meals consisting of fruits and nuts to keep your blood pressure and metabolism going steady and fueling the cells that are busy at work getting your heart back in shape.
As far as drinks stay far away from soda pop and energy drinks as these will ruin your recovery diet and drive your high blood pressure through the roof on your way to the morgue. Focus on fresh fruit juices, the fresher the better, and teas, hot or cold sweetened with honey will also be good not only for its great antioxidant qualities but also for its fame for lowering ones blood pressure. And coffee sad to say is out, but can easily be substituted by a wide variety of healthy teas. Also lots of water is recommended as this will help flush all the toxins from surgery and prescription and pain medication and keep all your internal organs especially your heart good and hydrated. The length of recovery all depends on you and your determination to stay on track and focused so give it a try and see where it takes you, I bet it will be a healthier and happier quality of life, for you and your loved ones.