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Foods You Can Eat After Heart Bypass

by
author image August McLaughlin
August McLaughlin is a certified nutritionist and health writer with more than nine years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in various magazines such as "Healthy Aging," "CitySmart," "IAmThatGirl" and "ULM." She holds specializations in eating disorders, healthy weight management and sports nutrition. She is currently completing her second cookbook and Weight Limit—a series of body image/nutrition-related PSAs.
Foods You Can Eat After Heart Bypass
Healthy foods provide multiple benefits following heart bypass surgery. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Heart bypass surgery, also called coronary bypass surgery, is performed to restore blood flow to your heart when a section of an artery in your heart is blocked. If you have heart disease, bypass surgery is one of multiple potential treatment options. The Cleveland Clinic recommends a heart-healthy balanced diet as a better option than high-protein diets, such as the Atkins diet, after the procedure. For best results, seek specified guidance from a qualified professional.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are primary components of a heart-healthy diet. As antioxidant-rich foods, fruits and vegetables enhance your immune system and help prevent infections and disease. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can also reduce your blood pressure and lower your risk for stroke, heart attack, eye conditions and certain forms of cancer, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. For most people this requires at least nine collective servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Incorporate a variety of fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet routinely for maximum benefits. Varieties particularly rich in antioxidants include berries, citrus fruits, apples, cantaloupe, kiwi, papaya, mango, tomatoes, leafy greens, bell peppers, carrots and sweet potatoes.

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Whole Grains

Whole grains provide rich amounts of nutrients and fiber, which is important for digestive wellness, weight management and heart health. The American Heart Association recommends whole grains in place of refined carbohydrates such as salty snack foods, white bread and sugary sweets. Examples of nutrient-rich whole grain foods include steel cut and old-fashioned oatmeal, 100 percent whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, pearled barley, quinoa, air-popped popcorn, brown rice and wild rice. Incorporate a variety of whole grain foods into your diet regularly for broadest dietary benefits.

Lean Protein and Fatty Fish

High-fat protein sources, such as red meat and whole milk, are rich in saturated fat --- fat associated with increased risk for heart disease. Lean protein sources, on the other hand, promote wellness, strength and recovery. Examples of lean protein-rich foods include lean meats, skinless chicken and turkey breasts, low-fat dairy products, legumes and fish. Select low-fat cooking techniques, such as grilling, baking, broiling and steaming, most often. Fatty fish, such as albacore tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, halibut and lake trout, provide omega-3 fatty acids --- healthy fats associated with improved heart health. The American Heart Association recommends fatty fish at least 2 to 3 times per week for optimum wellness.

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