Eating After Your Heart Surgery
After your heart surgery you may find that
you do not feel hungry. Certain foods may
not taste the same. This may be because of
the surgery itself or the pills that you are
taking. You need to be sure to eat foods that
will supply your body with enough calories
and protein to allow your body to heal and
How can I give my body the calories and
protein it needs?
ξ Eat small amounts of food
throughout the day.
ξ Choose foods that have a lot of
nutrition in a small amount of food,
such as Carnation Instant Breakfast®.
ξ Some good protein foods are fish,
skinless poultry, Greek yogurt, soy,
beans and nuts.
ξ Once you begin feeling hungry again
you should follow a heart-healthy
diet. This will help prevent more
heart and blood vessel disease.
What steps should I take to eat a heart-
ξ Eat smaller servings of meat.
ξ Limit the amount of meat you eat to
6 ounces per day.
ξ Choose lean, less marbled meats.
ξ Trim fat off of the meat.
ξ Remove the skin from chicken or
ξ Prepare meat by baking, broiling or
ξ Choose low-fat dairy products such
as skim milk, yogurt, cheese, or
ξ Choose sherbet, frozen yogurt, or ice
milk instead of ice cream.
ξ Eat up to 3 egg yolks per week.
ξ Use egg substitute or egg whites
when you are cooking or baking.
Fats added to food
ξ Use unsaturated oils, like olive oil or
ξ Use soft tub margarine instead of
stick margarine, butter, or
ξ Use low fat mayonnaise, salad
dressing, and spreads that are low in
trans fatty acids.
ξ Choose products that have mono- or
ξ Increase omega-3 fat by adding fish
to your diet.
ξ Use non-stick spray, stock, bouillon,
wine, or water when sautéing.
Processed foods and desserts
ξ Choose low fat snack foods instead
of deep-fried snacks.
ξ Eat smaller servings of all desserts.
ξ Eat fruit as a dessert.
ξ If you have been told to decrease
your salt (sodium) intake, try
o Limit the amount of
processed foods like
packaged entrees and canned
o Restrict your intake of salted
or smoked meat or fish.
o Read food labels and choose
products lowest in salt.
o Read food labels on low-fat
items. Many times they are
high in sodium.
o Limit your salt intake to less
than 3000 mg per day unless
your doctor has given you a
ξ Replace fatty foods with vegetables
to increase the fiber, vitamins, and
antioxidants in your diet.
ξ Cook more meals at home. Meals
eaten outside the home are usually
higher in fat, calories and salt.
What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?
What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?
If you have more questions please contact UW Health at one of the phone number listed below.
You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s
Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 1/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Clinical Nutrition Services Department and the Department
of Nursing HF#374.