Cardiac Diet for a Lifestyle of Heart-Healthy Meals

Cardiac DietFollowing a healthy heart-smart Cardiac Diet plan is one of your greatest weapons in the fight against heart disease. If you already suffer from heart disease or if you are at risk for developing heart problems then the foods and liquids you consume each day play an important part in the health of your heart.

What is the 3-Day Cardiac Diet?

The Cardiac diet is about eating fresh, healthy foods and drinking fluids that are not loaded with sugar, chemicals or alcohol that will harm your heart. If you are headed for heart surgery your physician may put you on a 3-Day Cardiac Diet. The purpose of the 3-Day Cardiac Diet is to help the heart patient drop some weight quickly to prepare for surgery.

The 3-Day Diet is not a diet you should follow for more than three days. It is basically drinking tea or coffee with a sweetener for breakfast accompanied by low-fat cheese, an apple and five saltine crackers. Lunch is again the tea or coffee with sweetener, a piece of dry toast with a boiled egg. Then for dinner a cup each of cauliflower, carrots and tuna that is packed in water with one cup of melon and one half cup of vanilla ice cream that is low-fat. This is an extremely low calorie diet menu that needs to be accompanied by four 8oz glasses of water. What happens is these foods will cause water loss and some muscle loss because there are not enough calories to sustain a healthy body. It is purely for a quick weight loss before surgery and not intended for any sustained period of time.

Lifestyle Cardiac Eating Plan:

Eating a long term heart-healthy diet plan is about eating a variety of heart-smart foods prepared in a healthy way. Choosing good foods with low-sodium and low-fat/cholesterol with sufficient amounts of lean protein to make well balanced and delicious heart friendly meals is about making a few simple changes in the way you eat. This is not that difficult to learn and can be a very easy lifestyle that will protect your heart for years to come.

Carrying excess weight is dangerous for the health of your heart. Your daily eating menu should not exceed the calories you are able to burn off. To lose weight you need to eat fewer calories than you can burn off. The calories you do eat, however, need to be nutritious and as free of unhealthy fats and sodium as possible.

Sodium is a big enemy to the health of your heart so choosing foods that are low in salt and preparing your meals without adding salt or any salt flavorings is a must. Low-fat/low cholesterol food choices are equally important. The percentage of fats, sodium, protein and sugar that should be a part of a daily menu plan will depend on the amount of calories for your total daily intake.

Very simply put, read your food labels:

  • If you see the word “low” or “very low” on the label it means the foods have a slightly higher content than a label that says “free”.
  • Free on the label means there is just a trace present and not enough to put into a measured amount.
  • If the label reads “less” or “reduced” then the amount is about 25% lower than the normal food would contain.

There is really no way to go wrong with fresh fruits and vegetables especially if they have been organically grown. Excess fat, saturated and trans-fats, high amounts of sodium and chemicals in foods and food preparations will cause strain on the heart. Homemade meals will insure the foods you do eat are the best for your heart.   Many ‘diet’ food choices are not heart healthy choices because of the chemicals added. To add flavor to meals that have reduced fat and salt, using fresh or dried herbs will brighten up any recipe. Also using garlic and onions will add lots of nutritional value and lots of flavor.

To take the guesswork out of your daily meal plan you can always follow an expertly prepared daily Cardiac Diet menu done by a nutritionist. They know the right foods to include in the proper amounts and how to bring variety and flavor into the meals you prepare.

When you are concerned about your ability to follow a cholesterol diet menu, look for lots of information about how to build the best plan that you can.  Planning is one of the best weapons you have to improve your heart healthy menus.


About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at

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