Congestive Heart Failure Diet
Following a heart healthy diet is an important part of managing heart failure. In fact, not having a proper diet can make heart failure worse. Ask your doctor and health care team to create an eating plan that works for you.
A healthy diet includes a variety of vegetables and fruits. It also includes whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and protein foods, such as lean meats, eggs, poultry without skin, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans, and peas.
A healthy diet is low in sodium (salt) and solid fats (saturated fat and trans fatty acids). Too much salt can cause extra fluid to build up in your body, making heart failure worse. Saturated fat and trans fatty acids can cause unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, which are a risk factor for heart disease.
A healthy diet also is low in added sugars and refined grains. Refined grains come from processing whole grains, which results in a loss of nutrients (such as dietary fiber). Examples of refined grains include white rice and white bread.
A balanced, nutrient-rich diet can help your heart work better. Getting enough potassium is important for people who have heart failure. Some heart failure medicines deplete the potassium in your body. Lack of potassium can cause very rapid heart rhythms that can lead to sudden death.
Potassium is found in foods like white potatoes and sweet potatoes, greens (such as spinach), bananas, many dried fruits, and white beans and soybeans.
Talk with your health care team about getting the correct amount of potassium. Too much potassium also can be harmful.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute