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Here's What You Should Eat After Going Through A Heart Transplant Surgery

Nutritionist Pooja Malhotra suggests a few dietary tips for patients who go through a heart transplant surgery. Take a look.

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After a heart transplant, one needs to be extra careful about what he or she eats

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. You should be extra careful about what you eat after a transplant
  2. Limit intake of cholesterol and saturated fats
  3. You need to cut down on all high-sodium foods

Your diet plays a crucial role in your heart health, even when you are fine. But when you go through a heart transplant surgery, your heart needs extra critical care, and this applies for a very long time, even after months of the surgery. And by critical care, we refer to everything. But most importantly, one needs to be extra careful about what he or she eats. There are many other factors like proper rest, mild exercising and religiously following what your doctor tells you, but more than all these factors, one needs to pay special attention to his/her diet during this time.

Nutritionist Pooja Malhotra suggests a few dietary tips for patients who go through a heart transplant surgery. Take a look.

1. Limit total fat intake

Also limit intake of cholesterol and saturated fats. Though recent research suggests that dietary cholesterol has no link with blood cholesterol, its prudent to limit its intake. So limit your intake of egg, yolk, butter, full fat dairy, fatty meats etc.

butter

Photo Credit: iStock

2. Limit your sodium intake

After you go through a heart transplant surgery, you need to switch from a healthy lifestyle to a heart-healthy lifestyle. To begin with, you need to cut down on all high-sodium foods which can raise your blood pressure. Use minimal amount of salt in cooking, no added salt on salads, fruits, curd. Also avoid high sodium foods like pickles, chutneys, papads, and any processed foods that are high in salt and preservatives including smoked meats, cheese, frozen meals, canned foods, bakery items, and anything that contains salt, sodium benzoate (a preservative), mono sodium glutamate (a flavour enhancer) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).

salt

Photo Credit: iStock

3. Eat complex carbs

Eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grains which are high in both soluble and insoluble fibres. Avoid refined flour as well as refined sugar.

oatmeal

Photo Credit: iStock

4. Eat home-cooked meals

Eat fresh meals cooked at home, as eating out increases the risk of infections. Since immunosuppressant drugs are given to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ, the immune system is compromised, and risk of contracting infections is high.

cooking

Photo Credit: iStock

But more than anything, what you need to have is a strong will-power, a will-power that constantly reminds you that you did not go through all the pain just to throw it away and to fall for temptations.

(Pooja Malhotra city-based nutritionist)

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