AHA Dietary Guidelines for the Cardiac Patient:
55-60 daily Calories
complex carbs are preferred over simple carbs
1 gram of Carbs = 4 Calories
</ 30 daily Calories
</ 10 saturated fats
monounsaturated fat is the preferred fat source
1 gram of fat = 9 Calories
10-15 daily Calories
1 gram of protein = 4 Calories
Other Guidelines & Recommendations:
- Salt intake should be limited to 2,400 mg/day.
- Fiber is important for GI tract health. Consume at least 25-30 grams of fiber each day from food sources.
- Cholesterol intake should be limited to <300 mg/day (keep in mind that one egg yolk has over 200 mg of cholesterol).
- Soluble fiber may help to reduce cholesterol levels. Foods rich in soluble fiber include: beans, peas, oatmeal, cereal grains (especially oat and barley), citrus fruits, apples, and corn.
- Fish sources such as herring, tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and swordfish may contribute to lower blood pressure and LDL levels. These fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with a reduced risk for heart disease.
- Folate may help prevent the accumulation of homocysteine. High levels of plasma homocysteine are associated with plaque build-up in the arteries. Foods rich in folate include: dark green, leafy vegetables, whole grain cereals, and oranges.
Some Helpful Tips...
- Eat no more than 6 ounces per day of lean meat, fish, and skinless poultry. Six ounces are comparable to two decks of cards.
- Try main dishes featuring pasta, rice, beans, and/or vegetables.
- Use cooking methods that require little or no added fat: boil, bake, broil, roast, poach, steam, sauté, stir-fry, or microwave.
- Trim off fat you can see before cooking meat and poultry.
- Drain off fat after browning a meat (just like George Foreman himself).
- Chill soups and stews after cooking and then skim off the hardened fat from the top.
The Basic Idea...
- The bulk of your diet should be made up from complex carbohydrates (breads, pastas, etc.), fruits, and vegetables. (Try to limit intake of refined sugars, which are considered simple carbohydrates).- Limit overall fat intake to less than 30 of total Calories and shy away from saturated fat sources (meats, butters, fried foods). When using cooking oils, choose monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and canola oil because they are considered more "heart healthy" over saturated fats.