Heart Failure Series:
There are a few things you should be keeping track of when you have heart failure:
There are a few dietary guidelines to follow when you have heart failure.
Firstly, if you have diabetes you should always be following the STEP 2 diet.
Secondly, patients with heart failure should be limiting the amount of fluid intake to 1.5L (6 cups) to 2.0L (8 cups). In this count include everything from water, coffee/tea, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, etc.
It may seem difficult to limit your fluid, but there are some simple things that patients often find help tremendously. Using smaller cups and sipping fluid slowly are often effective at limiting excess intake. If you are thirsty try brushing your teeth, chewing gum or eating small pieces of cold fruit.
Finally, something that all heart failure patients should be doing is reducing sodium/salt in their diet. Following a low-salt diet strictly can help to reduce high blood pressure, keep swelling or edema under control, and can make breathing easier.
This is because high amounts of salt cause the body to retain fluid, acting almost like a sponge. This can cause fluid build-up in throughout your body, from your legs to your lungs. Patients often find that their symptoms are reduced when they switch to a low-salt diet.
Experts recommend you should limit your salt-intake to at least below 2000 mg per day and less than 1500 mg of salt is ideal. This means keeping your salt content for each meal below around 600 mg.
At first glance, you may be wondering how to cut the sodium in your diet. Salt is in almost every food, even in sweet foods like breakfast cereals.
Here are some practical tips for keeping the salt in your diet under control!
Nutrition facts are mandatory on all food products you buy. Make sure to check the nutrition facts and eliminate/find replacements for high-sodium foods!
Make sure you read the serving size and compare it with how much you are actually eating! In other words, if the serving size is for one cup and you have two, then you need to double the sodium it says.
Make sure to check the nutritional facts on all food you eat; you may find even foods that don’t taste salty actually have high amounts of sodium. For items that do not have a label, you can use this guide that lists sodium content in many foods.
Eat only 75% of the daily value! The daily value percentage is based on a diet with 2400 mg of sodium, which is far more than the 2000 mg heart failure patients should be having! When using the % daily value, try to keep your total for the day under 75% - or under 25% per meal.
In general, there are certain types of foods you should avoid:
Instead, eat fresh food that you prepare yourself! You will be more mindful of how much salt goes in to your food when you have to measure it out and add it in! Use this Sodium Calculator to determine how much salt you are consuming
There are some great resources to help you find low salt meals and the American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook.
Here are some great tips from the Ottawa Heart Institute about following a low-sodium diet at home and when you are eating out:
Visit the Ottawa Heart Institue for more information.
Apr 22, 2017 Healthy Heart Day
Cambridge Cardiac Care is located in the heart of Waterloo Region in downtown Cambridge.
Cambridge Cardiac Care serves patients throughout southwestern Ontario, including Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Brantford, Paris, Fergus, Elora, Elmira, Owen Sound, Kincardine, and Stratford.