What should you eat after suffering a heart attack?

There is a lot of talk about the type of food that should be taken to stay healthy, but what diet should people follow after suffering a heart attack to prevent another cardiac event? In this article we give you some tips on how your diet should be.

Stress, poor diet and lack of rest directly influence the health of our heart. Because, After overcoming a heart attack, we must acquire new healthier lifestyle habits like quitting smoking, doing soft physical exercise and changing the way we eat.

After a heart attack, the patient must respect the restrictions established by their doctor for recover and maintain a healthy state.

Heart attack and healthy habits

According to figures from the World Health Organization, in 2012, deaths related to cardiovascular diseases were more than 17 million people. It also reveals that 80% of myocardial infarctions or cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) are preventable.

A healthy diet, regular physical activity and the abandonment of toxic habits are necessary for avoid episodes that put your life at risk. The following foods are what you should include in your diet after suffering a heart attack or to prevent one.

How should diet be after a heart attack?

After a myocardial infarction should be carefully monitored risk factors such as cholesterol, glucose or blood pressure.

Patients who have suffered a heart attack they must have low levels of cholesterol and blood glucose, as well as controlled blood pressure. This is achieved with the proper medication, physical exercise and diet.

The healthiest diet for these patients is the Mediterranean diet. As it is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish, plus some servings of lean meat grilled. All prepared with extra virgin olive oil and little salt (this seasoning can be substituted for aromatic herbs and spices).

Dairy products should be skimmed, and it is advisable to take legumes twice a week.

You may be interested in reading: First aid in a stroke

What to eat after suffering a heart attack

Fruits and vegetables

According to the Spanish Heart Foundation, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables raises the concentrations of potassium and magnesium, which protect the heart against heart rhythm disorders. At the same time it reduces the concentration of sodium, related to blood pressure.

Extra virgin olive oil

This is an example of heart-healthy food and the basis of the Mediterranean diet.

Olive oil has important health benefits. Four tablespoons of olive oil daily, accompanied by a healthy and balanced Mediterranean diet decrease the chances of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.


Nuts are an exceptional source of healthy nutrients and have a large amount of monounsaturated fats. Walnuts, in particular, are also rich in omega 3, a polyunsaturated fat directly linked to heart health.

They also have L-arginine (an amino acid that helps produce nitric oxide, which in turn helps regulate blood pressure) and phytosterols (plant compounds that help lower cholesterol blocking its absorption in the intestine).


All types of tea possess catechin, an element that helps maintain a healthy blood pressure, inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol and preventing blood clots. It also has quercetin, which improves the functionalities of blood vessels.

Blue Fish

Like olive oil, fish is rich in heart-healthy fats that will protect our hearts.

After suffering a heart attack, our diet should exclude saturated fats. But nevertheless, We can not forget the unsaturated ones in any case. These can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or trout.

Whole grains and legumes

The bran, which is the shell that protects the seed of the cereal, helps slow down the absorption of sugars and lowers blood cholesterol, according to an article from the Spanish Heart Association.

On the other hand, pulses are a Exceptional source of proteins of plant origin, in addition to an excellent choice for its fiber and mineral content.

Read also: 8 symptoms that warn you of a heart attack

What foods are discouraged after suffering a heart attack?

Any food that includes cholesterol or fats in its composition trans it must be eliminated from the diet after suffering a myocardial infarction.

After a heart attack, the patient must follow a heart-healthy diet. Therefore, you should avoid the foods that contain Saturated fats, trans and cholesterol, such as whole milk products, butter, fatty meats or sugars.

Nor are sausages advisable, both for containing harmful fats and a large amount of sodium, industrial pastries (rich in fat) trans) and precooked foods.

Finally, remember that it is very important to incorporate, always consulting your doctor, the moderate exercise to your routine. After a heart attack, physical activity is a great ally to improve the health of our heart.