Diet for Congestive Heart Failure

After diagnosis, treatment should start immediately. One of the first changes which need to be made is in the diet. A diet for congestive heart failure should include as well as avoid certain foods. Foods that need to be avoided are:

  • Salt: Sodium in salt causes fluid retention. Because there is a tendency for fluid to accumulate in the lungs and surrounding tissues, salt should be avoided as it will only exacerbate the problem. Patients should have no more than 2 grams of salt in a day.
  • Fluids: The total amount of fluid intake must also be regulated. Advanced cases are advised to restrict their fluid intake to 2 quarts in a day. These limits can vary on a case by case basis.
  • Egg Yolk: it is high in cholesterol and should be avoided by those who have blocked arteries and high lipid levels.
  • Red meats like beef and pork
  • Foods with a high content of trans-fats
  • Foods with a high fat content
  • Dairy products like cheese that have a high fat content
  • Alcohol
Foods that protect against congestive heart failure are:

  • Carrots: Rich in antioxidants
  • Tomatoes: Contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fish: Certain fish like salmon are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids - good for the heart
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Citrus fruits
Fruits and vegetables protect against congestive heart failure. A well balanced nutritious diet should consist of green vegetables, fruits and lean meats. Special mention must be made of Hawthorn. Studies have shown that it contains compounds which open up the arteries, thereby increasing blood flow to the heart. However, it may have certain drug interactions, so consult your physician before consuming it.