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Diet for Heart Surgery Patients

written by: Rafael • edited by: DaniellaNicole • updated: 8/19/2010

If you are a heart surgery patient you must adjust your diet accordingly. Here are some tips for the diet for heart surgery patients

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    Any prescribed diet for heart surgery patients will depend on the individual condition of each person. If the patient is diabetic it must follow a low-sugar, low-fat diet. Heart surgery patients must, as a general recommendation, follow a low-sodium diet to avoid complications with high blood pressure. Also, low fat and low sugar diets will be very helpful.

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    Losing Weight Before Surgery

    Heart surgery patients may need to lose weight fast. That is why many cardiologists put their patients on a very restrictive calorie-counting diet before the heart surgery. Of course, this would be true if the patients is overweight or obese. Since they need to lose weight fast the diet for heart surgery patients would be designed in a way to allow a rapid weight loss in the order of 10-20 pound per week. Unfortunately, these diets for people that will undergo heart surgery have leaked to the general public and have become fad diets for people desperate to lose weight fast.

    The diet for heart surgery patients has received many names: the Cleveland Clinic Diet, the Sacred Heart Diet, the Spokane Heart Diet, the Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital Diet and the Miami Heart Institute Diet. All of these names imply they come from the reputable cardiological units of recognized hospitals, thus, they are safe to follow. However, all of these diets are just fast crash diets that may be unhealthy if followed by long periods of time. The named hospitals do not back up these unhealthy diets.

    Another common characteristics of these particular diets for heart surgery patients is that they are all based on an “all you can eat” (or drink) specially-designed soup that resembles, in many ways, the soup from another famous fad diet: the cabbage soup diet.

    Doctors may use some similar diets for heart surgery patients for a rapid weight loss, but for very short periods of time and only to prepare the patient for a heart surgery. A detox diet will also help the patient be prepared for heart surgery.

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    Dieting Tips for Heart Surgery Patients

    Heart surgery is a complicated intervention. Patients require some recovery time after the procedure. A proper diet will be very helpful in getting the patient to his (or her) top form. All people who have undergone a heart surgery will need to adjust their diets by following their doctor's recommendation.

    Generally, heart surgery patients will be put on a restricted calorie intake eating plan. Obesity and overweight are usually associated with heart surgery. Thus, a restricted calorie diet will be very helpful for heart surgery patients. Usually, cardiologists recommend healthful diets based on the American Hearth Association (AHA) dietary guidelines.

    The AHA recommends eating a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups, especially fruits and vegetables, unrefined whole-grain foods that contains lots of fiber, and to consume fish at least twice a week. Other recommendations are to limit intake of nutrient-poor foods such as refined flours, high-fat meat cuts, sugary confectionery, breads, white breads, etc. The AHA recommends the elimination of tobacco and the limiting of alcohol intake, especially for heart surgery patients.

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    American Heart Association: