The topic of nutrition should literally be a matter of the heart in heart failure: salt consumption, drinking quantity and body weight have a decisive influence on the symptoms and the course of the disease. Body weight can also affect heart failure. Read all the important facts about a heart-healthy diet here.
Diet for heart failure: healthy and balanced.
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What is heart-healthy nutrition?
A healthy, balanced diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (related to heart and vessels). In general, a low-fat diet is recommended for heart failure. The reason lies in the frequently elevated blood lipid and cholesterol levels that are present in patients with heart failure. These can lead to deposits in the vascular walls and cause, for example, hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis).
However, not all fat is the same. Avoid in heart failure nutrition the so-called saturated fatsThese are mainly found in animal products made from whole milk, such as fatty cheeses, or in red meat and sausages.
Unsaturated fats on the other hand have favorable for the cholesterol level from. They are for example part of poultry and cold pressed olive, linseed or rapeseed oil. Contained omega-3 fatty acids can actually protect the heart and circulatory system. 1
But it is not only the fats that matter: A normal Weight Contributes to healthy blood pressure, among other things. Another factor that is important, especially in relation to blood pressure, is the Salt consumption dar.
Why salt is bad for the heart?
Increased salt consumption leads to increased retention of water in the body. The consequence: an additional heart load as well as the formation of water deposits (edema). The latter also occur in heart failure because the reduced pumping capacity of the heart leads to congestion of the blood.
In summary, a diet for the heart should primarily help to reduce the following risk factors:
For the sake of your health: try to adjust your eating habits and thereby strengthen your heart.
Tenth anniversary of CholCo e.V.
On 20. February 2011, the patient organization Cholesterol& Co e.V. was founded and will celebrate its 10th anniversary in a few days. In their "anniversary week," they would like to review the development and successes of their joint work over the past ten years: https://cholco.org/2021/02/05/cholco-e-v-celebrates-anniversary/
CholCo e.V. is aimed at supporting those affected in their search for suitable clinics and doctors, gives tips on dealing with the disease and medical service providers. Furthermore, the association specifically promotes networking with international patient organizations in the field of UAS in order to provide better education and ultimately prevent early cardiovascular disease.
It is important to be tested for elevated values already in childhood, especially if a family predisposition is already known. Anyone who is affected should inform themselves comprehensively about the disease, make regular use of check-ups, attend nutritional counseling and seek exchange with other affected persons.
Low-salt diet for heart failure
On average, every German consumes up to ten grams of salt daily. 2 This is not only too much for healthy people, but can put additional strain on the heart for people with heart failure.
Nevertheless, people with heart failure do not have to radically give up salt. Rather, a sparing use is called for:
- Refrain from adding salt to your food at the table.
- Use fresh herbs instead of salt to enhance dishes.
- Cook with natural, fresh foods whenever possible (without preservatives such as table salt).
You should avoid these salt bombs if you suffer from heart failure:
- Salty pickled foods, for example salted herring, matie herring
- Salty snacks such as salt sticks, potato chips, roasted peanuts
- cured and smoked meat, sausage and fish products, including smoked bacon, smoked and oil-pickled salmon, salami, raw ham
- spicy cheese for example Roquefort, Harzerkase, Feta
- Ready-made broths, ready-made seasoning sauces and seasoning blends, which include grained broth, sambal oelek, liquid seasonings such as Maggi and sprinkle seasonings such as Fondor
- French fries
- Frozen pizzas
- Bread, rolls and salty pastries
- Medicinal waters such as uberkinger
Start with small steps: With a low-salt diet, you can counteract a worsening of the condition in heart failure alongside treatment with medications.
Overview of heart-boosting foods
Fresh fruits and vegetables, regular fish and high-quality oils – healthy eating can be so simple and delicious. With a Mediterranean diet you decide for your health. Mediterranean food has proven to be particularly effective for heart failure. Studies show that people from this area are significantly less likely to have a heart attack than people from northern Europe or the USA. 3,4
Heart-healthy foods include, for example:
- Olive oil: Antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids of vegetable oil help to support the heart.
- NutsWalnuts top the list of heart-healthy foods. A handful daily and blood pressure and cholesterol levels can benefit.
- FishHerring, salmon or mackerel, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are the best choices.
- Vegetables and fruitEspecially green vegetables like lettuce, spinach or broccoli can support the vascular function. Blueberries or blackberries contain antioxidants that may have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Heart failure patients, on the other hand, should stay away from red meat in particular. consumption is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. 5 In general, the German Nutrition Society recommends a maximum meat consumption of 300 to 600 grams per week. 6 Chicken or turkey are better for a heart failure diet than red meat. 7
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Heart failure – and now?
Drinking quantity in heart failure
People with heart failure should drink enough, but do not drink too much. Because drinking too much can cause water retention. In addition, there is a risk that increased fluid intake will reduce the effect of the dehydrating medications that many heart failure patients must take. In most cases, the recommended daily drinking quantity for heart failure is 1.5 to 2 liters. 8 This should be discussed individually with the doctor, because in more severe forms of heart failure, the intended amount of fluid may even be less.
Don’t just keep drinks also food with a high fluid content, such as soups, water-rich fruits (oranges, grapes, melons) and vegetables (cucumbers and lettuce), or water ice in the eye. Raise the issue with your cardiologist. It can tell you whether you should drink more or less if your diet is rich in foods with plenty of fluids.
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The amount you drink in heart failure is important.
If you have been prescribed diuretics (water tablets) by your doctor, you may experience increased thirst as a result of taking them. In such cases, it helps to drink in small amounts throughout the day, rinse the mouth, or suck a sugar-free candy to keep the mouth moisturized. Under no circumstances should you increase the amount you drink without consulting your doctor. Also weigh yourself daily. A sudden weight gain may reflect your fluid balance – in that case, see a cardiologist.
Alcohol and other stimulants in heart failure
When it comes to consuming addictive substances, patients with heart failure also need to keep in mind a few things:
- Alcohol: Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages should be consumed in moderation by heart failure patients – if at all. Alcohol increases heart rate and blood pressure. In addition, there is evidence that it can also trigger cardiac arrhythmias. For heart failure sufferers, when one alcoholic drink a day, the risk of further damaging the heart is low. 9 Women should keep it to a small drink, such as 0.33 liters of beer or a small glass of wine. 9 For men, it is recommended to consume no more than two small alcoholic drinks per day.
- smoking: Most people know that smoking is bad for your health. For people with heart failure, however, it is particularly advisable to give up smoking. Because nicotine leads to deposits on the vessel walls, which in turn increase blood pressure. 10 In addition, the body is less supplied with oxygen when smoking. Smokers who do not manage to give up their cigarettes on their own should Help from your doctor, a self-help group or health insurance companies search. For example, there are special smoking cessation courses offered by health insurance companies. The physician can also advise on medication options, which usually help when quitting smoking. Others find it easier to quit cigarettes gradually than to reduce smoking from one day to the next.
- Coffee: For many people, the start of the day begins with a fresh cup of coffee. Heart failure patients do not have to do without these foods. A moderate coffee consumption of One to two cups a day has no negative effect on the heart. 11 Even though coffee can raise blood pressure somewhat, it is possible to include it in the heart failure diet. However, it must be counted toward the recommended daily drinking amount. Recent studies also indicate that moderate coffee consumption can prevent the development of heart failure in otherwise healthy people. 12
Ready-to-eat products are also among the foods that people with heart failure should avoid as part of a heart-healthy diet.
Weight and diet in heart failure
Obesity – a problem for people with and without heart failure. But if sufferers have a weak heart, underweight also plays an important role.
It is important to monitor weight in order to detect possible water retention and to inform the doctor in good time. Generally, weight should be within the normal range for heart failure. Too many kilos can put additional strain on a weakened heart. The Risk for High blood pressure and coronary heart disease increases at.
But a lack of nutrition can also have disadvantages. The reason: Underweight Among other things, leads to Reduce muscle mass, also in the heart. This is particularly pronounced in the case of anorexia. The consequence is a lower performance capacity. In extreme cases, this can also be the cause of heart failure. If an underweight person already suffers from heart failure, the diet must be controlled particularly carefully to ensure that the body is supplied with the necessary nutrients.
For guidance, you may find the Body mass index (BMI) use. It reflects the relationship between height and weight, taking age and gender into account. The value should be between 20 and 25. 13 If your BMI is higher, a Change of diet to reduce weight to aim for.
If it is difficult for you to lose weight on your own, a Nutritional counseling be a helpful support for you. In such cases, the health insurance company usually also pays for a certain number of counseling hours; it is best to speak directly with your health insurance company about this. Your doctor also supports you by giving you a certificate of need for nutritional counseling. On the websites of the professional association of dieticians or the professional group of dieticians, you can search for the right dietician for you.
Recipe tips for one day
To make the change in diet as easy as possible for you, here are a few recipe inspirations from Mediterranean cuisine. Discover your dishes for the heart to achieve the optimal diet for heart failure.
Breakfast: Muesli with banana chips in stock 14
- 500 grams of seeded oatmeal or whole grain oatmeal
- 100 grams of sunflower seeds
- 100 grams of cornflakes without sugar
- 100 grams of raisins
- 100 grams of banana chips
- 150 grams (per serving) of plain yogurt, fruit yogurt, soured milk or cottage cheese
Mix all ingredients together except yogurt, milk or cottage cheese. The mix can be stored for some time. In the morning, add three to four tablespoons of the mixture to your yogurt, milk or cottage cheese. As a topping you can add fresh fruits of the season and sweeten with some honey if needed.
Lunchtime: linguine with scampi and sugar snap peas for four people
- 500 grams of scampi
- 250 grams of sugar snap peas
- 1 onion
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs de Provence
- 500 grams of linguine
First gut and wash the scampi, then pat them dry. Peel and chop garlic cloves as well as onion. Mix the olive oil and spices with the garlic and put the scampi in it for 15 minutes. In the meantime, wash the sugar snap peas and cut them into thirds or halves, depending on their size.
Now fry the sampi in the oil and herb mixture for about 2 minutes on each side. Then add the diced onion and sugar snap peas and let everything steep for 4 minutes on the turned off stove. Season with pepper.
Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain and fold into the scampi and sugar snap pea mixture.
Refreshing: cold cucumber soup
- 2 cucumbers
- 800 grams of Greek yogurt
- Olive oil
- 1 pinch of white pepper
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 bunch of dill
Wash the cucumbers well and cut them into pieces. Then puree the cucumber pieces together with the yogurt and the remaining ingredients. Before you eat the soup, let it sit in the refrigerator for ten minutes. Serve with whole wheat or pita bread.
Tip: The vitamins are mainly in the shell. Do not peel the cucumbers if possible.
Evening: Fruity chicory salad for four people
Indication for four people:
- 400 to 500 grams of chicory
- 3 oranges
- 100 grams of carrots
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- Sugar, pepper
Remove the outer leaves of the chicory, then wash and quarter the lettuce. Remove the stalk wedge-shaped and then cut the chicory into fine strips. Peel and grate the carrots, cut the oranges into slices after peeling them. For the dressing, mix the oil with the lemon juice and season with a little sugar. Mix the dressing with the chicory, carrots and oranges and season with pepper to taste.
What to avoid when eating with heart failure?
Above all, a heart-healthy diet should contain hardly any unhealthy fats. These include unsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in red meat or convenience foods. Vegetable fats, on the other hand, which are saturated, can be consumed.
How much can patients with heart failure drink??
Heart patients must not drink too much, but still need to drink enough. About two liters of fluid a day is a good guideline. 7 The cardiologist can help you more precisely here.
What else is important for heart failure besides a healthy diet??
A balanced diet for the heart is essential for people with heart failure. In addition, sufficient exercise should be part of your daily routine. In addition, after the diagnosis, regular visits to the doctor are on the program.