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Dietary tips for people with heart failure

Healthy eating is necessary to maintain your heart health. A registered dietitian can provide in-depth personal nutrition advice, and tailor these general guidelines to meet your needs and help you implement a personal action plan.

Here are some basic tips that will help you get started eating healthily.

  • Limit salt and sugar in your diet. Decreasing the total amount of salt you consume to no more than 6g per day is one of the most important ways to manage heart failure. Learn to read food labels. Use the label information on food packages to help you to make the best low salt and low sugar selections.
  • Healthy eating. The British Heart Foundation recommends eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and wholegrain pasta, some milk and dairy products, some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein.
  • Fats. Cut down on saturated fats and replace them with mono and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. This includes losing weight if you are overweight and exercise regularly to achieve or maintain your ideal body weight.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Because alcohol can affect your heart rate and worsen your heart failure, keep within the recommended guidelines. Alcohol may also interact with the medications you are taking.
  • Quit smoking. Giving up smoking is likely to be the single biggest way to cut the risk of developing heart disease and heart failure.
  • Healthy blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, your heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body.
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on November 24, 2016

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