An open heart surgery is a life-saving procedure performed to manage the heart ailments.
Surgeries can take a toll on the body, tossing up all the normal functions. Exhaustion and lack of appetite are common during convalescence. Therefore, it is important that you eat your meals in smaller frequent portions to kick start your metabolism.
“Most heart patients recovering from a cardiac surgery would be prescribed a low salt diet. Ensure that your salt intake is limited to less than one teaspoonful (2000 mg) per day. Consuming excess salt can cause fluid retention in the body and increase blood pressure, putting more stress on the heart. Fried foods are a big no when you are recovering from heart surgery. Eating healthy not only means consuming less oil, but also steering clear of hidden unhealthy fats that may make way into your body through processed foods,” said professor Anbu Pandian, Medical Advisor, Agatsa.
Sticking to an oil-free home cooked diet not only accelerates recovery but also allows your heart enough time to regain normal functions. Limit your consumption of sugary and calorie rich foods. “While a 70% cut is recommended in your daily fat intake, it should be noted that saturated fats should make up less than 7% of your daily calories. It is good to avoid animal-based fats. Instead include lean meats, fish and nuts that are rich in omega 3 and 6 in your diet in moderation. Coconut and peanuts commonly used in Indian food should also be avoided as they are rich in saturated fats,” added professor Anbu Pandian.
Go for low-fat dairy such as skimmed milk, low fat cheese and yogurt. Consume more of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables to boost your body with all the essential micro nutrients. Increase your intake of protein.
Medicos say that obesity is one of the primary causes of heart disease. Even though you may not be overweight, lack of exercise during recovery period may add extra pounds to your weight.
Recovering from a surgery, especially an open-heart procedure can be challenging. It is easy for patients to fall into depression or anxiety. Keep yourself motivated by talking to people and getting light physical activity. Maintaining diet restrictions and adopting a simple daily plan can help you recuperate faster and ensure that you remain in good health even after the recovery phase.