Will My Diet Slip Increase the Risk of Heart Attack?

Last Editorial Review: 8/15/2017

Ask the experts

I had CABG eight months ago and my diet has "slipped." Am I at greater risk of having another heart attack sooner if I don't clean up my bad eating habits for good?

Doctor's response

Everyone's diet may "slip" at times, but it's very important for post-bypass patients to keep the LDL ("bad") cholesterol as low as possible. For years the goal was less than 130, but in the last decade, data has shown that the LDL level should be below 100. In the last year or two, it has been shown that post-bypass patients with LDL level below 80 do better than those whose level is between 80-100. The goal should definitely now be an LDL below 80; this generally requires both medication and a good diet/exercise regime. The advantage of a good diet is that the doses of medication needed are much lower, thus with a much lower incidence of side effects.

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Medically reviewed by Robert Bargar, MD; Board Certification in Public Health & General Preventive Medicine


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