Types of Cardiac Diet Plan: Foods to Avoid And Consume

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Foods like vegetables, whole grains, and oily salmon are prioritised in the cardiac diet meals. These foods are good food for your heart. Additionally, processed foods that are heavy in salt and sugar are prohibited from the diet since they raise the risk of heart disease. This article will discuss various items one would want to prioritise and restrict when following a cardiac diet plan. Continue reading!


A cardiac diet plan must be nutrient-dense and include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. This is indicated for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any other history of heart disease. Those can follow the eating plan without any cardiovascular issues because it will lower the risk of developing heart disease.

Spinach, tomato, carrots, cauliflower, beans, and other commonly available foods are nutrient-dense, low in cholesterol, and convenient. However, some foods high in cholesterol should be avoided, such as peanut butter, packaged pastries, muffins, doughnuts, and whole milk.

We have developed a diet strategy that includes nutrient-dense foods to treat cardiac issues. This three-course meal is simple to follow if you have cardiac problems. This meal plan consists of a list of all heart-healthy foods conveniently available at the neighbourhood market. Additionally, we include a list of foods that should be avoided when following this heart-healthy diet.


What is a Cardiac Diet Plan?

The cardiac diet meal plan promotes the consumption of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory foods to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. The basic tenets of a diet chart for heart patients, in accordance with the American Heart Association (AHA), are as follows:

  • include vegetables and fruits
  • sugar and salt should be limited
  • choose whole grains 
  • choose protein from plant sources 
  • include fish, seafood, lean meats
  • include low-fat or fat-free dairy
  • cook with plant oils
  • do not eat highly processed foods
  • limit alcohol, if possible, then exclude

The heart-healthy diet also calls for regulating calorie intake and exercise levels to achieve a healthy weight. This can lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, among other health advantages.

What Are Some Recommended Cardiac Diet Meals?

Many diets follow the general guidelines for eating heart-healthily outlined above. These diets consist of the following:-

  • Mediterranean Diet: Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lentils, and olive oil are the main components of this diet.
  • Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH): The DASH diet aims to reduce blood pressure. It encourages eliminating salt, sugar, and most fats while consuming whole, plant-based foods.
  • Healthy U.S.-Style Diet: The DASH and this are incredibly similar. It advises limiting salt, sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats while choosing nutrient-dense foods from all food groups.
  • Vegetarian Whole-Food Diets: The heart can benefit from substituting plant-based proteins like those found in nuts and legumes for animal proteins.

3 Day Diet Plan For Cardiac Patients

Day 1

Breakfast: Grapefruit or juice and one slice of toast

Lunch: 1 slice of toast with 1/2 cup Low Fat Yoghurt(or Vegan option) or tuna

Dinner: 3 ounces of beans or lean meat, 1 cup of cooked string beans, 1 cup of carrots or beets, one small apple, and 1 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 2

Breakfast: 1 boiled egg or 1 cup of Low fat Yoghurt(or Vegan option), one slice of toast, and a banana

Lunch: 1 cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of sauteed tofu or tuna and five saltine crackers

Dinner: 2 veggie or plant-based burgers or meat franks, 1 cup of cooked cabbage or broccoli, 1/2 cup of turnip greens or carrots, a banana, and 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Day 3

Breakfast: 1 cup of Lowfat Yoghurt(or Vegan option) or one boiled egg and one slice of toast

Lunch: 1 ounce of Cheddar cheese, one small apple, and five saltine crackers

Dinner: 1 cup of sauteed tofu or tuna, 1 cup of cooked string beans or cauliflower, 1 cup of carrots or beets, 1 cup of melon, and 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

Foods To Consume For Cardiac Patients

Fruits and Vegetables – Plant meals offer a variety of antioxidants that can assist in safeguarding the heart. In addition to being good sources of fibre, fruits and vegetables are also beneficial for heart health. Consuming 4-5 servings (2.5 cups) of veggies daily is advised by experts. Focusing on non-starchy veggies like spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, etc., and reducing the number of starchy vegetables like potatoes and squash in the diet is advised.

Oily Fish (optional for Vegans and Vegetarians)- Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish and have anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy qualities, are excellent for you. The AHA advises consuming two servings of fish weekly. The healthiest fish to eat is oily fish like tuna, salmon, black cod, mackerel, and sardines. Three ounces of cooked fish, or around 3/4 cup of flaked fish, make up a serving. Due to higher mercury levels, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that these populations stay away from larger fish like sharks, swordfish, and marlin.

Whole Grains – Reduced consumption of refined grains and preference for whole grains reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Better-for-you fibre can be found in whole grains than in refined grains. Oats, brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, and other examples.

Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes – Two to three cups of nuts, seeds, and legumes per day are recommended in the best diets for cardiovascular health. Compared to nuts and seeds, legumes, including beans, tofu, and chickpeas, often have fewer calories. One might want to consider including the following foods in their diet:

  • Nuts: peanuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, etc
  • Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Legumes: soybeans, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.

Low-Fat Dairy Foods – The AHA notes conflicting information about the link between heart disease risk and saturated fats in full-fat dairy products. Most of the research, it claims, points to the need for consumers to reduce their intake of saturated fat. By selecting nonfat and low-fat dairy products, such as skim or 1% milk, nonfat or low-fat yoghurt, and low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses, a person can consume less saturated fat.

Lean Meats (optional for Vegans and Vegetarians)- People who decide to eat meat as part of their heart diet plan are advised to pick lean, unprocessed cuts of meat. Red and processed meats include saturated fats and other compounds that may be detrimental to heart health. The leanest cuts of meat should be chosen for those who consume red meat as part of a heart-healthy diet plan.

Foods To Avoid For Cardiac Patients

Red and Processed Meats – Saturated fat can be found in red meat. Numerous studies suggest that substituting plant proteins for red or processed meat can reduce the risk of heart disease. Nuts, legumes, whole grains, and soy products all include plant proteins.

Sugar-Sweetened Foods and Beverages – Particularly in sodas and energy drinks, many processed meals and beverages also include added sugars. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise consuming no more than 10% of daily calories from added sugars. A moderate weight can be obtained or maintained, and heart disease can be avoided by avoiding too much sugar.

Processed Foods – Long lists of additives, many harmful to a healthy heart, are frequently found in processed foods. For instance, many processed foods are high in trans fats, saturated fat, sugar, salt, other chemicals and food colourings. Cook meals from scratch using whole foods whenever you can, and opt for whole food snacks.

Refined Carbohydrates – Refined carbs are devoid of fibre and might rapidly make someone feel hungry again. Whole grains rich in nutrients reduce the risk of several illnesses, including metabolic syndrome and stroke, by taking the place of refined carbs. White bread, spaghetti, rice, cakes, cookies, pastries, many breakfast bowls of cereal, and other refined carbohydrates should be avoided.

Alcohol – The cardiac diet plan advises limiting or abstaining from alcohol. Those who drink alcohol might want to think about doing so occasionally. For girls, this implies having no more than one drink per day, and for guys, no more than two drinks per day.

Salt – According to research, overeating salt may contribute to high blood pressure. Limiting salt intake may help to lower blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Consuming home-cooked meals with little to no salt instead of takeaway or restaurant meals can also increase salt intake.

Tips For Sticking With The Cardiac Diet Plan

Changing one’s eating habits can be difficult for some people at first. A person would want to attempt making little adjustments, perhaps two each week. It’s better to do this than to make a lot of changes all at once and then give up immediately.

Another suggestion is to use herbs and spices, rather than salt or heavy sauces, to enhance the flavour of your food. It is crucial to understand that only some have the same access to meals that are good for their health.

Whether someone can readily buy goods like fresh fruits and veggies depends on factors like income level and area amenities. As the AHA points out in its diet recommendations, institutional racism in the United States also impacts these variables.

A cost-effective meal plan customised to a person’s circumstances is one strategy for a heart-healthy diet that is more approachable on a personal level. Think about selecting products that can be securely stored for longer when planning your meals for the coming week.


The cardiac diet plan must be initiated and maintained over time. Making more significant dietary modifications may be challenging for someone who frequently consumes processed foods and refined carbohydrates. The advice given above might be helpful. The diet for a heart patient should consist of nourishing basic foods such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and oily salmon. Limiting processed foods, sugar, salt, and saturated fats may be desirable. People may find it beneficial to plan their diets and exercise caution when making restaurant food selections. Additionally essential to heart health are regular exercise and stress management.

Frequently Asked Questions

What three foods do cardiologists say to avoid?

  • Foods with a lot of sugar or salt
  • Highly processed foods
  • Alcohol 

What fruit is good for a diet plan for heart disease?

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are crucial for maintaining heart health. However, other fruits, like pomegranates, apples, bananas, etc., are also beneficial.

What is not allowed on a cardiac diet menu?

The diet restricts processed foods since they raise the risk of heart disease and are heavy in sugar, salt, and harmful fats.

What is effective in a cardiac diet plan food list?

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, poultry, and vegetable oils is the best for preventing heart disease. Red and processed meats, refined carbohydrates, meals and drinks with added sugar, sodium, and foods with trans fats should be avoided.

What type of diet increases the risk factor for cardiovascular disease?

Heart disease and illnesses like atherosclerosis have been linked to diets high in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Additionally, a diet high in salt (sodium) can cause blood pressure to rise. Heart disease can result from insufficient physical activity.

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