Heart bypass surgery sounds quite frightening doesn’t it? For most doctors this surgery is a routine, straight forward procedure with about 28,000 heart bypass surgeries being performed every year! Regardless of how straight forward the doctors might perceive this procedure to be, it is highly important for you to pay attention to your diet after undergoing a heart bypass surgery. Taking care of what you eat will help to speed up the recovery process and will ensure that your heart becomes healthy and strong. While several factors such as the presence of coronary heart disease, weight, and blood pressure must be taken into consideration to formulate a suitable diet plan, there are general dietary guidelines that all heart bypass patients should follow.
According to the University of Southern California, maintaining your current weight after a heart bypass surgery is essentially more important than gaining or losing weight. Focus on following a well-balanced and heart-friendly diet plan, and refrain from consciously trying to gain or drop a few pounds. Gaining weight after surgery can lead to additional pressure on the heart or a thickening of the blood vessels. Both of these effects can lead to further health complications. Losing weight can result in a slower recovery process.
According to the American Heart Association, individuals should take special care of their diet after heart bypass surgery. Have high fiber, whole grain food, fresh fruits and vegetables, fat free or low fat dairy products, keep your alcohol consumption to a bare minimum, prepare meals with little or no additional salt, consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol daily, have oily fish at least twice a week, and avoid food and beverages that contain added sugar. You should also engage in some form of physical exercise to strengthen your heart muscle and to keep your blood pumping. Whether it is walking, yoga or some other appropriate physical activity; choose the exercise form that suits you best!
Many individuals will complain about not having much of an appetite after the surgery. They may also feel like they are unable to eat because of the effects of certain medications on their system. However, providing your body with the nourishment and nutrition that it needs after the surgery is very important to facilitate the healing process. For those who complain of constipation in the post-surgery period, experts recommend increased fluid intake, fiber supplements if needed, and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. If the patient does not feel like eating at all, then small portions of food should be consumed at regular intervals throughout the day. If you find yourself slipping into the same unhealthy habits that you fostered before the surgery, stop yourself right there and make a conscious effort to adopt the new post-surgery heart healthy lifestyle for good! You yourself will feel energetic, fresh, and in control of your health.