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Cardiac Diet Meal Plan and Cardio Menu Planning

Updated on March 16, 2014

Low Cholesterol and Low Sodium Diet Options

Visit my website for a FREE 3 Day Meal Plan! Thanks Mathea Ford RD/LD
Visit my website for a FREE 3 Day Meal Plan! Thanks Mathea Ford RD/LD

Cardiac Diet Menu Planner

A cardiac diet menu planner (Visit My site for a FREE 3 Day Meal Plan) consists of recipes that are healthy for your heart. They will not only be part of a low sodium diet but will also be part of a low cholesterol foods as well. Too much cholesterol or the wrong fats consumed on a regular basis will lead to heart disease. Too much sodium content in the foods eaten each day will cause water retention and raise blood pressure which can lead to heart disease. By following a well designed cardiac diet menu plan your heart will be spared undue stress from eating the wrong foods.

What guidelines should be the basis of a good cardiac diet?

The low sodium diet plan needs to be low in fat and salt as well as calories. The balance of the calories needs to be not more than seven percent from saturated fats, and no more than one percent from trans-fats with no more than 300 mg of cholesterol for each day’s menu. According to the American Health Association the sodium contents for the day needs to fall under 1,500 mg.

What is a low sodium diet?

Sodium is actually a necessary part of bringing into balance both the minerals and liquids to the body. Sodium absorbs the nutrients of foods. However, an overload of sodium causes some serious problems. In the case of your heart, too much salt over extended period of time can lead to the risk of a stroke or heart disease.

This is why a low sodium diet is a big part of heart healthy menus. According to the guidelines of the “American Heart Association” 2,300 mg of salt each day is the most anyone should ingest and with those who have cardiac problems the amount should be even less. So the amount of sodium allowed on a cardiac diet will fall way under that for a healthy person.

Not only table salt needs to be limited but foods that contain a lot of salt like commercially prepared foods either in cans or frozen, fast foods, lunch meats and snack chips. All these are loaded with sodium.

What is considered a low fat/low cholesterol diet?

Watching the intake of saturated fats and trans-fats which are fats artificially manufactured like in Crisco is an important part of the low fat/low cholesterol diet. So then no deep fried foods are allowed. Instead of fried chicken in hot oil the fried chicken should be oven fried. Oven fried chicken is easy to do and when done correctly will be just as satisfying.

A good cardiac diet will include foods that should be eaten and not just foods to avoid. A good diet plan is about making educated food choices. Foods with good fats containing omega-3 like salmon. Four oz. of raw salmon has 9.7 g. of total fat with 1.7 g. from saturated fats while 4oz of a slow roasted prime rib will have 25.2 g. of total fat with 10.4 g. from saturated fat. A chicken thigh with the skin (raw) has 17.3 g. of total fat with 5.0 g. from saturated fat. Conversely a raw chicken breast without the skin has 1.4 g. of total fat with 0.4 g. from saturated fat. The low fat/low cholesterol diet part of the cardiac diet eating plan is about making educated choices which may not be obvious. Bacon is probably an obvious bad choice with a 4 oz. raw portion having 51.2 g. of total fat and 17.0 g. from saturated fats. Turkey bacon is a better choice as far as saturated fat goes but both pork bacon and turkey bacon are loaded with salt. It will really depend on the brand of the turkey bacon as they are all very different.

The bottom line is to watch what you eat and do not overeat. Overeating stresses the heart and other organs. The best way to control this is to follow a well designed cardiac diet menu planner. This will give you many tasty choices and add variety to your diet while still being good for your heart. There are so many varying factors involved in creating a truly sound cardiac diet menu that it is really the better idea to leave it to the experts.

All of this will effectively be lowering cholesterol naturally!

Cardiac Meal Planner-Low Sodium

Sodium at the Dinner Table!

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Fruit is Heart Healthy

TLC Diet

Renal Diet With Hypertension

Especially if you are living with health conditions such as renal failure or hypertension, finding the right balance in your meal plans can seem like a tough task. If you are struggling to maintain a renal diet with hypertension, meal planning and eating can turn into a daunting chore.

Maintaining a healthy renal diet with hypertension may not be as difficult as it seems, however. There are a multitude of options to help regulate the important facets of a renal diet while balancing the needs of a hypertensive diet as well. Often, the recommendations for both diets are extremely similar.

Getting Started

Often, the hardest part of any task is just getting started. Once you are underway, nothing will seem as difficult as that initial move.

  • Start by talking to your doctor. Any time you make a lifestyle change such as diet or exercise, you need to clear it with your physician. Your doctor will also be able to give you feedback on some guidelines to follow, such as what your sodium intake should be.
  • Get a food diary. Write down everything you eat, how much you eat, and keep track of nutritional information.
  • Put together a menu. Look through meal plans specified for renal failure and hypertension and select some recipes that you might like to try. Starting a new diet can be exciting when you get to cook and try new, fresh, and delicious foods.

What are some diet guidelines to follow specifically for a renal diet with hypertension?

Sodium Intake Is Key

  • Your doctor will be able to give you a specific amount of sodium you should consume per day. A regular diet typically has a recommendation of about 2,400mg of sodium per day, but for renal and hypertensive patients the recommended intake is often half or even less.
  • Reduce sodium intake with these tips:
    • Stick to fresh and frozen vegetables, avoid canned. If canned is necessary, make sure to drain and rinse before eating.
    • Do not add salt when cooking. Instead, add flavor with salt-free seasonings and fresh herbs.
    • Check sodium levels on every packaged food. Even less obvious foods contain some amount of sodium, and when you are on a renal diet with hypertension, every bit counts.

Watch Fluid Intake

  • Fluid retention can cause severe swelling, shortness of breath, and even heart failure. It can also increase blood pressure.
  • Your doctor will be able to tell you if you need to restrict fluids in your diet. If so, pay attention to everything you eat or drink.

Check Out DASH

The DASH eating plan, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is an excellent diet to follow for renal patients with hypertension. This diet focuses on:

  • Low Sodium
  • Low Saturated and Overall Fat
  • Low Cholesterol
  • Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Lean proteins like nuts, fish, and poultry
  • Low-fat and fat-free dairy options

If you are living with renal issues with hypertension, what you eat and drink affects your life greatly. Getting started on a healthy diet plan may seem like a daunting task now, but once you start it won’t take long before you are feeling healthier and more energized.


Cardiac Diet Changes Can Improve Heart Health



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    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Margie Lynn 20 months ago from Beautiful Texas Hill Country

      Thanks for all the great information. My husband has a five bypass surgery in January!

    • profile image

      Neng 3 years ago

      Where did my review go? I was tynpig and all of a sudden my review was replaced by an oversized picture of the book. Getting out of that, my review was gone and I was kicked out of Amazon.I'll try again.This book is one of the best I've found to date. There are over 900 pages of food choices with counts for protein, carbs, cholesterol, sodium, fat, fiber and calories. It would be hard to find a food not included. However, for my personal needs I would like to see a couple of things that would improve the book.1. There is no count for the amount of sugar in the food. As one who needs that info due to high triglycerides it would be very useful. Triglycerides don't receive their own label entry because they are manufactured by the liver. While there is cholesterol included, my own situation calls for the sugar count since my cholesterol levels are fine.2. I would love for the restaurant menu information in a separate section. They are simply included within the alphabetic listing. And while I understand that not all restaurants could ever be included, it would be great to have some of the major chains included for comparison purposes. For example, Pizza Hut is analyzed but not Godfathers. And it would be nice to have a couple of restaurants in each food category such as Olive Garden vs Carrabas. Or Red Lobster vs. Joe's Crab Shack, etc.3. Many of the entries represent what appear to be regional brands so some of the brands in my midwest location are not included. But at least the national brands are included so one can suppose that a similar item would be comparable.Overall, I would recommend this. Much better than another book about triglycerides that I purchased at the same time.