Heart Health: Eating After Your Heart Surgery
After your heart surgery you may find that you do not feel hungry. Certain foods may not taste the same. This may be because of the surgery itself or the pills that you are taking. You need to be sure to eat foods that will supply your body with enough calories and protein to allow your body to heal and recover.
How can I give my body the calories and protein it needs?
- Eat small amounts of food throughout the day.
- Choose foods that have a lot of nutrition in a small amount of food, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast®.
- Once you begin feeling hungry again you should follow a heart-healthy diet. This will help prevent more heart and blood vessel disease.
- Patients who have had heart bypass surgery will be scheduled to see a registered dietitian the same day you return to clinic to see the surgeon.
What steps should I take to eat a heart-healthy diet?
- Eat smaller servings of meat.
- Limit the amount of meat you eat to 6 ounces per day.
- Choose lean, less marbled meats.
- Trim fat off of the meat.
- Remove the skin from chicken or turkey.
- Prepare meat by baking, broiling or roasting.
- Choose low-fat dairy products such as skim milk, yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese.
- Choose sherbet, frozen yogurt, or ice milk instead of ice cream.
- Eat up to 3 egg yolks per week.
- Use egg substitute or egg whites when you are cooking or baking.
Fats added to food
- Use smaller amounts of all fats.
- Use unsaturated oils, like olive oil or canola oil.
- Use soft tub margarine instead of stick margarine, butter, or shortenings.
- Use low fat mayonnaise, salad dressing, and spreads that are low in trans fatty acids. Choose products that have mono- or polyunsaturated fats.
- Increase omega-3 fat by adding fish to your diet.
- Use non-stick spray, stock, bouillon, wine, or water when sautéing.
Processed foods and desserts
- Choose low fat snack foods instead of deep-fried snacks.
- Eat smaller servings of all desserts.
- Eat fruit as a dessert.
Salt- If you have been told to decrease your sodium intake
- Limit the amount of processed foods like packaged entrees and canned soups.
- Restrict your intake of salted or smoked meat or fish.
- Read food labels and choose products lowest in salt.
- Read food labels on low-fat items. Many times they are high in sodium.
- Limit your salt intake to less than 3000mg per day unless your doctor has given you a different amount.
- Replace fatty foods with vegetables to increase the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants in your diet.
- Eat more soy protein.
If you are a UW patient and need more information please contact UW Health at one of the following locations.
2880 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53705
UW Health West Clinic
451 Junction Road
Madison, WI 53717
UW Health East Clinic
5249 East Terrace Drive
Madison, WI 53718
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/06/2012
Copyright © 03/16/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#374
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