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The Ultimate Heart Attack Recovery Diet Plan

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Heart Attack Recovery Diet

So it happened…the big MI. Myocardial infarction. Heart attack. The phrase “as serious as a heart attack” exists for a reason. This severe medical emergency could lead to death or lifelong health complications. You survived, but you’re not out of the woods quite yet. 

You might still be reeling from what just happened to you. You keep thinking of the sterile emergency room, remembering the doctor’s serious voice explaining your condition and the persistent beeping of the heart monitor reminding you of just how close you came. 

Your doctor likely sent you home with a pile of prescriptions and maybe even scheduled a date for you to return and get a stent. They probably didn’t send home a Heart Attack Recovery Diet Plan with your discharge papers. 

If they did, it likely said to avoid red meat, eat whole grains, and stick to low-fat dairy. Are these diet recommendations based on scientific research? Is this really the best way to eat following a heart attack? Unsurprisingly, as with many things, the conventional medical approach is dangerously misleading. 

In this article, we share the real heart attack recovery diet plan and delve into what you should actually eat (and avoid) to improve heart function following this major cardiovascular event. 

Is diet important after a heart attack? 

You might be wondering, “does diet really impact heart attack recovery?” Even though you survived your heart attack this time, you are at a much higher risk of having another one. Unfortunately, that second heart attack puts even more strain on your heart and increases your risk of dying from health complications. 

Following a heart-healthy diet is one of the best ways to protect your cardiovascular system and reduce your risk of another heart attack. For example, it helps you lose weight (obesity is a major contributor to heart disease), reduces blood pressure, decreases inflammation, and helps keep your arteries clear. 

Check out this article for more information on preventing another heart attack. 

What to eat after a heart attack

What is the best diet after a heart attack? 

Diet recommendations after a heart attack can be confusing. One source says to try a plant-based diet; another says to stick to the low-sodium DASH diet for heart health. To whom do you listen? These diets have different recommendations, so how can they all be healthy?

Short answer — they’re not. These diet plans are all about restriction, and they cut out essential nutrients your body needs to function. They are just temporary fixes intended to solve a lifetime of poor eating habits. 

Here at NHD, we have developed the 100 Year Heart Diet — a revolutionary eating plan that embraces real, quality, whole food that nourishes and heals your heart. 

Our eating plan isn’t something you stick with for three months to lose a couple of pounds or lower your blood pressure by a few points. Rather, it is a lifestyle change that will revolutionize how you approach food and help you stay out of the hospital and off dangerous pharmaceuticals.

Find the full 100 Year Heart Diet Guide Here.

Best foods to eat after having a heart attack

All of the foods in the 100 Year Heart Diet will support heart health; however, these are a few of the best foods to eat after having a heart attack: 

  • Wild-caught fish — This includes fish like salmon, trout, sardines, and mackerel. 
  • Organic vegetables — Prioritize leafy greens like kale, spinach, and arugula. Seaweed is also great for heart health!
  • Organic nuts and seeds — Great sources of heart-healthy fat and fiber. Always choose raw varieties without any additional ingredients or salt. Nuts are usually salted with processed table salt that contains no beneficial nutrients (you can always add Himalayan salt or sea salt later).
  • Organic avocado — Excellent source of heart-healthy fat, perfect for adding to smoothies or salads.
  • Organic, pasture-raised eggs — Boosts beneficial HDL cholesterol and reduces inflammation. They have also been shown to reduce small, harmful LDL cholesterol levels. 
  • Olive and coconut oil — Loaded with free radical-fighting antioxidants that could reduce your risk of a heart attack. 
  • Grass-finished/pasture-raised organ meat — Rich in COQ10, vitamin B12, and folate, all essential for heart health. 
  • Organic herbs and spices — Ginger, garlic, turmeric, and Himalayan salt are just a few herbs and spices rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that support heart health.
  • Seasonal fruit (in moderation) — Berries contain potent antioxidants,  fiber, and vitamin C. Enjoy berries in season and in moderation, as they contain lots of natural sugar. 

The Ultimate Heart Attack Recovery Diet Plan

Breakfast

Spiced Kale and Eggs

Kale is a great source of nitrates, potassium, and magnesium. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and boosts blood flow. Pasture-raised eggs contain coenzyme Q10, choline, B6 and B12, and ribose — all essential for heart health.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

  1. Whisk eggs, turmeric, and garlic in a bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet.
  3. Add kale to a warmed skillet and cook over medium-low heat until slightly wilted.
  4. Add in the whisked eggs and herb mixture.
  5. Cook eggs until the desired doneness and serve.

Note: You can also add our Daily Defense shake to your breakfast! It is loaded with beneficial nutrients that support heart health and help keep you full until lunch. Always buy organic, pasture-raised eggs and organic ingredients. 

Lunch

Bowl of Beef Heart Stew

Beef heart contains key minerals, L-carnitine, vitamin B6, and coenzyme

Q10 to protect and strengthen heart muscle cells. Organ meats (like beef heart) support the body’s organs in an organ-specific fashion (i.e., heart helps the heart). 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 of a whole beef heart
  • 1/2 cup beef bone broth
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp ghee
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Instructions: 

  1. Cut the heart into 1-inch cubes—place in a small slow cooker or Dutch oven.
  2. Add the beef stock, ghee, and spices (except for the fresh parsley).
  3. Cook for 2-4 hours on high heat or until the desired doneness.
  4. Transfer the beef heart to a bowl. Top with the desired amount of “stew sauce.”
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Note: Always buy grass-finished beef hearts and organic ingredients. If you don’t like organ meat, you can always enjoy another heart-healthy meal for lunch and try our Kick Start My Heart organ supplement to get those critical nutrients.

Dinner 

Turmeric Ginger Salmon Stir Fry

Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fish like salmon can help to improve heart health, lower blood pressure, and prevent blood clots. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1⁄2 Tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 4.5 oz wild-caught salmon filet

Instructions: 

  1. Combine all ingredients except the salmon in a small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat for about one minute until flavors have melded. Stir sauce until combined.
  3. Place the salmon filet in a greased glass baking dish.
  4. Coat the salmon with lemon herb butter. Be sure to spread evenly over the top of the filet.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until salmon is cooked and flakes easily with a fork.

Note: Purchase wild-caught salmon and organic ingredients. 

What foods to avoid after a heart attack

While eating quality food should be your top priority after a heart attack, you can’t ignore the elephant (or the bag of Cheetos) in the room forever. Removing unhealthy food from your diet following a heart attack is just as important as adding quality food.

Avoid these foods after having a heart attack:

  • Anything with added sugar includes soda, coffee drinks, condiments, salad dressings, candy bars, desserts, and even bread. Read labels and remember that sugar hides under many pseudonyms, including corn syrup, fructose, and sucrose. 
  • Non-organic food is loaded with harmful chemicals that interfere with your recovery and damage your heart even more. 
  • Fast food contains unhealthy oils, trans fat, and processed ingredients.
  • Packaged, highly-processed food — that bag of potato chips and frozen pizza must go.
  • Processed grain (even whole wheat) is a sneaky source of sugar and can still spike blood glucose levels. 
  • Unhealthy fats include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and polyunsaturated seed oils, such as canola, vegetable, and corn oil. 
  • Conventional red meat is factory-farmed and can negatively impact your heart health. This meat is loaded with harmful antibiotics and hormones. Plus, these animals are fed a steady diet of processed GMO grains, which contribute to inflammation. 

Most of these foods are high on the glycemic index and will spike your blood sugar levels and contribute to inflammation — exactly what you don’t want when trying to recover from a heart attack. 

Next steps

Remember, no one ever has a heart attack for no reason. Unfortunately, your conventional cardiologist is likely to treat the symptoms instead of the underlying issues — increasing your risk for a subsequent attack. 

To get real help that leads to lasting change and recovery, fill out this form and book an appointment with Dr. Jack Wolfson or one of the other expert practitioners here at NHD. They have access to some of the most advanced cardiac testing in the world and are committed to helping you achieve your 100 Year Heart.

Your heart attack doesn’t have to stop you from doing the things you love. In fact, it could be the catalyst that inspires you to change your diet for good.

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About Dr. Keith Smigiel NP, DC

Dr. Keith Smigiel

Dr. Keith Smigiel is a regenerative medicine physician and pain management specialist. He takes an integrative approach to medicine, focusing on customized solutions tailored to individual needs. Using advanced, non-surgical treatments, Dr. Smigiel stimulates your body’s ability to naturally heal itself.

Dr. Smigiel helps people suffering from conditions such as chronic pain and erectile dysfunction, to hair loss and weight gain. Combining treatments such as PRP Therapy, Ozone, Neural Prolotherapy, and IV Infusions with functional rehabilitation, he helps you look and feel better.

He heals the body, instead of just treating the symptoms!

With his professional qualifications as a certified family nurse practitioner, a doctor of chiropractic, and a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture, Dr. Smigiel offers patients comprehensive care from a broad perspective of conventional and alternative medicine. He also has extensive experience in functional rehabilitation and chronic pain management.

Dr. Smigiel is married to Angela and has two children, Sophia and Larz. When he’s not busy helping patients, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, motocross, and boating.

About Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller, M.D., Ph.D., FHRS

Dr. James Kneller is one of the nation’s leading heart rhythm specialists. Dr. Kneller is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine.

As a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society (FHRS) and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS), Kneller provides comprehensive patient care, combining best medical practice with invasive procedures using state-of-the-art technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders.

Beyond guideline-directed therapies, Kneller is passionate about optimized personal health. With a deep interest in complimentary alternative medicine (CAM), he strives to reduce the need for pharmaceuticals, invasive procedures, and exposure to harmful radiation. With Natural Heart Doctor, he strives to help each and every client to Live Well, Eat Well, and Think Well to attain their 100-year heart!

About Dr. Lauren Lattanza NMD, FACC

Dr. Lattanza Office Visit with Patient

As a Naturopathic Physician, I am trained to treat the whole person and get to the root cause of disease.

I went to Arizona State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a depth in physiology and minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate degree I was working on prerequisite classes towards medical school, which is when I came to learn that my values identified best with the principles of naturopathic medicine. I knew that I wanted to help patients identify the causes of disease and be able to offer treatments which would improve their health rather than simply treating symptoms.

I dedicated the next 4 years to the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona where I attained my Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine. I served as Class President all 4 years, Board of Trustees – Student Trustee, spoke as the Club President for our branch of Toastmasters, and was voted by my peers and attending physicians to earn the Outstanding Leadership Award for the Class of 2020. Throughout medical school I took it upon myself to work alongside MDs, DOs, chiropractors, and functional medicine practitioners in addition to naturopathic physicians.

As a Spanish speaking student, I was able to volunteer with community clinics around Phoenix and provide free healthcare to low-income families. Due to this combined exposure, I came to find my passion in treating cardiometabolic and digestive disorders that are all too common, yet largely preventable. I took the opportunity to learn the broad spectrum of healthcare so I can ensure that I am able to provide my patients with the best options.

About Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC

Dr. Wolfson Office Visit with Patient

Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board-certified cardiologist, Amazon best-selling author, husband, father, and the nation’s #1 Natural Heart Doctor.

For more than two decades, more than one million people have enjoyed the warmth, compassion, and transformational power of his natural heart health courses and events.

Dr. Wolfson is the founder of Natural Heart Doctor Scottsdale, his heart health practice in Arizona, and Natural Heart Doctor, an online resource center with natural health information. Doctors from across the globe reach out to Dr. Wolfson for training and education in holistic health practices.

He has been named one of America’s Top Functional Medicine Doctors and is a five-time winner of the Natural Choice Awards as a holistic M.D. Dr. Wolfson’s work has been covered by more than 100 media outlets, including NBC, CNN, and the Washington Post. His book “The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health” was an Amazon #1 best-seller.

Dr. Wolfson and his wife Heather have four children and are committed to making the world a better place to live. They provide for those in need (including animals) and support natural health causes through their philanthropic efforts.

Chiropractic

Our chiropractor is an expert at adjustments and holistic chiropractic care and works closely in conjunction with the other health care experts at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

IV Therapy

We use specially formulated natural vitamins and minerals that are injected into a vein to prevent or treat dehydration. Ideal for people in Arizona.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Acupuncture

Stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being with acupuncture at Natural Heart Doctor.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Health Coaching

Our health coaches use evidence based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to engage you actively and safely in health behavior changes.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Cardio Tests

We use the most advanced testing in the world to assess heart health and to identify the root cause of your health issues.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Office Visits

Schedule an office visit with one of our cardiologists, holistic physicians, chiropractor, or health coaches.

Call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’d like to receive an online second opinion from Natural Heart Doctor. What do I do next?

You can initiate a second opinion online through our website at any time. To begin, select the team member you’d like to speak with and open an account.

Click here for cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Lauren Lattanza. Get details.

Naturopathic Medical Doctor Dr. Tonia Rainier. Get details.

Click here for  Natural Heart Doctor Health Coach.

Alternatively, you can email health@naturalheartdoctor.com. A member of our care team will help guide you through the process of starting a second opinion.

What is the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

The cost for most second opinions varies by team member. This fee includes information collection, a phone or video consultation, a second opinion from a Natural Heart Doctor specialist and guidance throughout the process from your personal Care Team at Natural Heart Doctor.

Cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson’s Second Opinion Fee is $1500.

Holistic Physician’s Dr. Lauren Lattanza’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Naturopathic Physician Dr. Tonia Rainier’s Second Opinion Fee is $250.

Note: We apply the Online Second Opinion Call fee as a credit to any future consultations with Natural Heart Doctor, should you choose them.

Will my insurance cover the cost of a Natural Heart Doctor Online Second Opinion?

Most likely, no. Most health plans do not cover online second opinions or consultations. You are responsible for the cost of our second opinion. Natural Heart Doctor cannot file a claim with your insurance carrier, nor can we provide a procedure (CPT) code for this service.

What is the timeline to receive an online second opinion?

We do our best to schedule your second opinion as quickly as possible. Typically, it takes 5 to 7 business days after your information has been collected to receive your phone or video online second opinion.

What information do you need in advance of our call?

Our office will send you a short questionnaire to complete and return. We DO NOT need your complete medical records.

How many questions can I ask the expert during our call?

You may ask a maximum of five questions. This is to ensure that the expert has sufficient time to devote to each question. All questions must be finalized before your online meeting.

What should I expect to receive once my second opinion is complete?

You will receive a summary of our discussion along with our second opinion. The second opinion will be in written form. After you have reviewed the second opinion, a Natural Heart Doctor clinician will follow up with you by phone to address general medical questions about the information provided in the second opinion.

What if I have follow-up questions for the expert after I have reviewed my second opinion?

If you have a clarifying question about an expert’s response to one of the questions in your second opinion, and the Natural Heart Doctor clinician is unable to address it, then you may request a follow up session for an additional fee. 

Is my medical and payment information secure?

Natural Heart Doctor is strongly committed to protecting the privacy and security of all our patients. Our website meets all federal requirements for protecting personal health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All financial transactions are processed by Natural Heart Doctor securely using industry standard payment processing tools.

I would rather visit Natural Heart Doctor for an in-person appointment. What should I do next?

If you would prefer an in-person appointment at Natural Heart Doctor instead of an online second opinion, please call (480) 535-6844 for details and scheduling.

Can I schedule a follow up appointment with the specialist who provided my online second opinion?

Yes, we’re happy to help you on an extended basis. Our clinician can discuss options with you when presenting our second opinion summary.