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what should a heart patient have if he has gone through a by-pass surgery in his daily diet from morning till night?

(December 7, 2010)

Diet After Bypass Surgery

Coronary artery bypass graft surgery or bypass surgery can help the patient to restore the blood flow back to the heart. Undergoing a surgery does not mean that he is not susceptible towards development of atherosclerosis. If the patient doesn't take proper care of himself, he may be at risk.

The important goals for the patient after undergoing the bypass surgery are:

  • Reduce the risk of development of complication like heart attack or even death.
  • Making the patient feel better and helping the patient to go back to his normal life.

After bypass surgery, behavior modification and diet control is essential. It is very necessary that he stop smoking, exercise regularly, reduce stress and follow a healthy diet pattern.

These modifications can help him in improving the cholesterol levels and controlling blood pressure. Apart from this, regular check up and intake of medicines are also important.

Cardiac Rehabilitation


  • Exercise - During cardiac rehabilitation, exercise program is prepared by the physical trainer and can be suggested to him and his physician taking care of the patient's health, physical limitation, intensity and duration of the exercise and amount of exercise that can be done by him. 
  • Psychosocial treatment - The person may feel depressed and denied after the surgery. This can affect his health and he may lose interest in exercise or even eating food. Family support is very important who can help him in gaining the confidence.
  • Reduce stress - Reduction of stress is necessary and this can be achieved by meditation and breathing exercise, consulting the psychiatrist for gaining positive outlook towards life.
  • Diet Modification for a healthy heart - Dietary modification with healthier options is essential.

It is not so easy to accept the dietary pattern if the diet is changed drastically and completely. Hence changes in the diet pattern should be done gradually taking into consideration the person's likes and dislikes.

Certain modifications that are necessary for maintaining a healthy heart are:

  • Limit the intake of fat, although total restriction of fat is not advisable. Restrict the intake of saturated fats as these fats can increase the cholesterol levels. Avoid the intake of butter, red meat, pork, egg yolk and high fat milk as these foods are rich in saturated fats. Avoid the intake of partially hydrogenated fats as those seen in margarine and shortenings. These are rich in trans fatty acids which can increase the cholesterol levels, though not as high as compared to saturated fats.
  • Avoid sugary foods, high sugar beverages, pastries as high sugar content present in these foods can enhance the triglyceride levels in the body thus increasing the risk towards heart problems.
  • Enhance the intake of vegetable oils, lean meat, low fat or skimmed milk and low fat yoghurt as these do not increase the cholesterol levels in the body. Apart from this it is also rich in unsaturated fats and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 which can help in improving the functions of the heart. Prefer olive oil, soybean oil, groundnut oil as these oils are rich in unsaturated fats.
  • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables both in their raw as well as the cooked form. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that are needed for proper metabolism of the nutrients present in the body. They are also rich in phytochemicals, flavonoids and phenols that have antioxidant activity which reduces the formation of free radicals. This reduces the risk of heart problems. Colored vegetables like carrot, tomatoes, spinach, beetroot and fruits like oranges, sweet lime, cherries, apple and papaya should be consumed in good amounts.
  • Increase fiber in your diet.

Have wholesome foods like whole grain cereals, whole pulses, legumes that can add to the bulk in the diet. For breakfast, have more of muesli, cereals mixed with skimmed milk, whole grain or bran bread. Green salads or raw salads as well as fruit salads can also improve the fiber content in the diet.

Thus dietary changes can be a challenge for the patient. He can also consult the dietician who can help him in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Submitted by R B on December 7, 2010 at 12:52


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