Cardiac Diet Plan

I have been prescribed a Cardiac Diet, can I still receive meals from Meals On Wheels Inc. of Tarrant County? YES!

Meals On Wheels Recommended Meal Plan
Regular Diet with the beverage choice of one of the following Skim Milk, Low fat Milk, or Calcium/Vitamin D Orange Juice

Diet Implications

What is the purpose of a cardiac diet?
A cardiac diet promotes cardiac health and prevents further heart related illnesses following previous cardiovascular complications.

What does the diet consist of?
The cardiac diet can vary from person to person depending on diagnoses, current nutritional status, lab values, etc. Regardless, it generally restricts cholesterol, fat, saturated fat, sodium, fluids, and promotes small frequent meals with adequate nutrition intake. Those who have a history of heart-related problems may benefit from additional nutrition education to reinforce the practice of a healthy lifestyle.

What are the nutritional recommendations of a cardiac diet?
In the cardiac diet, sodium intake is restricted to less than 2,400 mg daily. There is also a fluid restriction of 1,000-2,000 ml/4-8 cups daily, based on the use of diuretics and nutritional status. Limited caffeine is recommended because of the chance of increasing one’s heart rate. Consuming a multivitamin and mineral supplement may be considered for those not receiving adequate nutrients, but this should only be done once it has been discussed with a physician. The total fat should be 30% or less of total calories consumed and the saturated fats should be 8-10% of total calories. For a 2,000 calorie a day diet, the maximum daily intake of fat is 67 grams and the saturated fat should be 22 grams or less. Cholesterol should be limited to less than 300 mg a day as well.

How can I make my prescribed cardiac diet work with the Meals On Wheels Regular Diet plan?
Meals on Wheels provides adequate nutrition to main- tain a healthy lifestyle. The breakfast and noon meals provided contain 1/3-2/3 of the fat intake recommended in the cardiac diet. This still leaves you with about 22 grams of fat and about 5 grams of saturated fat to con- sume throughout the rest of the day. The nutritional content of foods, fat and saturated fat included, can be found on the nutritional facts panel of all packaged foods. An 8 oz carton of skim milk is the best beverage option in respect to the cardiac diet as it provides the least amount of fat.

Breakfast and lunch beverages provide 600 ml or 2 1/2 cups fluid of the recommended 1,000-2,000 ml for a cardiac diet. The sodium intake will vary from meal to meal but to be safe, there should be no salt added to any of your food throughout the rest of the day.

Aside from my Meals on Wheels food, what other heart-healthy foods can I consume for snacks and my third meal of the day?

Sodium Recommendations:

  • Enjoy enriched white, wheat, rye, and pumpernickel breads.
  • Minimize breads, rolls and crackers with salted tops and instant hot cereals.
  • Enjoy all fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen)
  • Avoid pickled vegetables and those seasoned with ham, bacon, or salt.
  • No salt should be added to any food.

Fat Recommendations:

  • Enjoy whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas. Also, low fat and fat free crackers.
  • Enjoy fresh, or frozen vegetables and fresh, frozen, dried, or canned juice packed canned fruits. Nonfat and fat free milk, cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese can be enjoyed.

Cholesterol Recommendations:

  • Enjoy egg whites and avoid the yolks.
  • Nuts and lean cuts of meat. Forflavor,enjoy herbs and spices as opposed to added fats, butter and oils.

Fluid Recommendations:

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages such as soda, tea and cof- fee as they have a dehydrating effect.
  • Enjoy low calorie beverages such as low fat and skim milk.
  • Water is a great choice.
  • Limit fluids to 1,000-2,000 ml or 4-8 cups a day.

Caffeine Recommendations:

  • Beverages high in caffeine such as coffee, tea, and soda should be avoided.
  • Decaffeinated beverages may be consumed sparingly.