A healthy diet can both keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of developing of atrial fibrillation. Of course, there are other risk factors when it comes to heart disease and afib, but making dietary changes both prevents heart conditions and atrial fibrillation and manages the symptoms of both.
So if you already have afib or a cardiovascular disease, you should incorporate the right foods into your diet and eliminate the dangerous ones. Healthy eating also prevents high cholesterol, hypertension, and stroke, which are also linked with afib and heart disease.
1. Eat more vegetables and fruits
To maintain a healthy weight and heart, you must consume lots of vegetables and fruits high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and low in calories. You should have at least 3 servings of vegetable and 2 servings of fruits per day. Keep products and foods that contain refined sugar to a minimum like sugary drinks and baked goods.
2. Limit your salt intake
Too much sodium, which is something salt is rich in, leads to hypertension, which contributes to afib and worse. The recommended intake of sodium for an adult per days is 2400 mg, but if you already have afib, high blood pressure, or a heart condition, this shouldn’t be more than 1500 mg. Reminder: 1 teaspoon of salt has 2,325 mg of sodium.
3. Avoid fatty meats and dairy products
Fatty meats, whole milk, full-fat cheeses, and butter are the common enemies of heart health. They contain saturated fats which lead to heart disease and stroke. Only consume lean, skinless meats, and avoid fried, processed foods.
4. Have more fish
Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and arrhythmia. By extension, afib patients should eat fish regularly as well. Experts recommend at least 2-3 times a week.
5. Watch your cholesterol
You should monitor your cholesterol intake closely and make sure you do not consume more than 300 mg per day. Shellfish, organ meats, and egg yolk are some foods that contain too much cholesterol. Have your eggs without the yolk in the morning.
6. Eat whole grains
Unprocessed products with whole grains contain copious amounts of fiber and essential nutrients that promote cardiovascular health and regulate high blood pressure. Vegetables and fruits are also rich in fiber, but some other foods with whole grains you should consume are oatmeal, 100% whole-wheat whole grain bread, quinoa, and whole grain pasta.
7. Don’t drink too much alcohol
Excessive alcohol intake is never recommended for your heart and overall health, but it also leads to what is known as a holiday heart syndrome in afib patients, resulting in irregular heartbeats. Moderation is always key.
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