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Atrial Fibrillation Diet

Atrial Fibrillation Diet is recommended for people reported to have A-fib or atrial fibrillation, a coronary disorder which results in irregular heartbeats, which give rise to a number of symptoms like palpitation and shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue and uneasiness or pain in the chest region.  However, a low-fat diet could improve overall heart health resulting in a much better quality of life for the patient.

 

Characteristics of the Atrial Fibrillation Diet

There are no general guidelines for the Atrial Fibrillation Diet. However, physicians will recommend a heart friendly diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. It is recommended that fat consumption be reduced and the amounts of monounsaturated fats be increased to boost the overall health of the patient.

Some of the general dietary tips that are can be followed are as under

  • Calorie intake should be optimum- Only the amount that is necessary for the normal function of the body should be consumed.
  • Fats that are unsaturated, low in cholesterol and which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed- ex. olive oil is a good example of such oils.
  • The intake of proteins, carbohydrates and fats should be balanced with the fat constituting only 20%-30% of the intake. Fast foods and processed consumables should be avoided.
  • Introduction of foods high in dietary fiber, and fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended.
  • Vitamin B can be increased in the diet with a certified phyisician's approval
  • A well-balanced diet in small quantities at frequent intervals of time is recommended.

 

Some foods that are specially recommended for preventing A-fib:

  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and alphalinolenic acid- these include walnuts and their oil, flaxseed oil, mustard oil, soyabean oil, and bean curd.
  • Foods with less salt - low sodium intake are a must. Usage of salt substitutes is recommended
  • Fresh herbs

 

Substances to avoid:

  • Consumption of nicotine is prohibited as it is likely to worsen the condition
  • Caffeine and alcohol are believed to initiate atrial fibrillation and therefore are best avoided
  • Iron rich foods
  • Carbohydrate substitutes for fats

 

Trivia

Recent research has shown that tyramine containing foods could aggravate ischemic heart conditions resulting in atrial fibrillation. Tyramine containing foods like cheese, wine, dried yeast, and red wine can precipitate an atrial fibrillation. However, research is still on to find out how this works and how many people are affected by tyramine in this same way. 

 

Resources

Heart & Stroke Information Point

American Heart Assoication