Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a medical condition when the heart does not pump efficiently causing the lack of oxygen to the whole body. This condition can be caused by many diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney disease. It is important to know that the heart does not have to work too hard when patients with CHF make some changes in their diet. The following notes will help decrease some of your symptoms.
Watch what you drink
Patients with heart failure are more likely to retain fluid, which can make the heart work harder. When this happens, limiting your intake of fluids can be the best treatment. But, you have to take care because, in some occasions, your doctor also prescribes diuretics or “water pills” to get rid of extra water. To identify how much liquid you should have a day, you should talk to your doctor. Not only water, but juice, ice cubes, coffee, tea, and soup also good sources of fluids. Moreover, some foods with high water content, for example, ice cream, yogurt, and fruit, can also count toward your daily diet.
If your doctor recommends limiting fluid intake, the easy way to keep track is to measure the cups, glasses, and bowls you typically use at home. Fill them with water from a measuring cup and you’ll know whether that teacup really holds a “cup”.
Reduce salt in your diet
Sodium (most commonly from salt) can cause your body retain fluid. As a result, your heart pumps harder, which leads to heart failure become more severe. This can strain your heart and can also cause heart failure symptoms get worse.
In most conditions, doctors usually recommend heart failure patients restrict their sodium intake. But, in some patients, this can be a big challenge. Fortunately, many low-sodium versions of popular foods are available, patients are recommended to choose these foods.
Limit Fats and cholesterol in your diet
It’s crucial that patients with heart failure should limit the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol. Too much saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet can increase the amount of cholesterol in patient’s blood. High cholesterol in blood is a major risk factor for developing types of heart disease that may lead to heart failure. For patients with cardiovascular disease, a low cholesterol diet is highly recommended. According to your caloric needs, your doctor will evaluate how much total fat intake you should take, and saturated fat should only be between 8-10% of that total.
By obeying recommended guidelines and your doctor’s advice, you can make a positive change in your condition.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: March 30, 2017 | Last Modified: March 30, 2017
Diet. http://www.heart-failure.co.uk/living-with/lifestyle-changes/diet/index.htm. Assessed January 29, 2017.
Diet and Congestive Heart Failure. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/diet_and_congestive_heart_failure/. Assessed January 29, 2017.