As part of the lifestyle modification lectures within the rehabilitation programme the dietitian gives a 1 hour lecture to the patient group on the importance of the cardioprotective diet and practical suggestions on how to implement it.
Follow up arrangements to see the dietitian after discharge will vary depending on nutrition issues pre-discharge.
Patients with abnormal lipids should be followed and given individual advice by a dietitian and this should be done at the hospital where they attended the cardiologist.
Usually patients returning to the Mater Hospital are reviewed after 3 months.
Cardioprotective dietary advice
Many risk factors in cardiovascular disease can be reduced by dietary modifications:
- Reduce cholesterol
- Achieve an ideal body weight
- Reduce blood pressure
- Control of diabetes
Main principles of the cardioprotective diet
- Eat 4 or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day 1 portion = 1 apple/orange/banana or 3 dessert spoons of raw/cooked vegetables or ½ glass of fruit juice
- Eat Oily fish 2 – 3 times per weeke.g salmon, mackerel, herring, trout or sardines (Tinned fish can be used in brine if drained)
- Reduce your intake of saturated fat:
Use low fat products
Avoid fried foods
Beware of hidden sources of fat e.g biscuits, chocolate, sauces, crisps
- Reduce your salt intake
- Avoid salty foods such as crisps, take aways and packet soups, ready cooked meals
- Use herbs and spices as alternative flavourings
- Watch your alcohol intake
- Alcohol is high in calories and can lead to an increase in blood pressure
The World Health Organisation recommend no more than 21 units per week for men, which is just over 10 pints beer and no more than 14 units per week for women, which is the equivalent of 9 shorts per week.
A unit of alcohol is the same as:
- ½ pint beer/stout/cider/ale
- A small glass (100ml) of wine
- A measure of spirits such as whiskey or vodka is 1½ units
- The small bottles of wine sold in pubs are almost 2 units
The cardioprotective diet can be followed by all adults. Those with high lipids may have to make additional changes relevant to their own diet and lifestyle.
Most of all it is important you enjoy your food and incorporate the necessary dietary changes as part of your overall lifestyle modifications.
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