Diet, Foods For Aortic Stenosis
An aortic stenosis diet is a diet plan that specifically caters to the requirements of those with aortic stenosis. Before we talk about the kind of aortic stenosis diet such people should follow, let us understand the condition and its causes. Aortic stenosis is a heart condition where the aortic valve becomes partially obstructed and this could lead to significant heart problems. When blood flows from the heart, it first passes through the left ventricle, then through the aortic valve and in to the aorta. Blood flow is reduced when the aortic valve does not open properly.
This can lead to conditions such as an irregular heartbeat, chest pain, palpitations, faintness, and shortness of breath and even a loss of consciousness during exertion. The treatment of aortic stenosis is surgical valve replacement.
Diet Plan For Aortic Stenosis
Following an aortic stenosis diet will help to minimize the effects of this condition. As with all heart problems, a healthy diet is a must and should be adhered to strictly. Here are some points to keep in mind while planning an aortic stenosis diet.
- Salt intake: The amount of salt intake one has daily can cause additional heart problems, such as restricting blood flow. Foods high in salt should be avoided and a low sodium diet should be followed. The amount of salt in an aortic stenosis diet should be the same as the amount of salt in a diet for hypertension - 2g to 4 g of sodium per day. This is the maximum amount of salt that is allowed in such a diet. Be careful when eating out. Ask for your food to be prepared with less salt. Avoid salty foods such as pickles, cured meats, canned soups, salty snacks and so on.
- Fluid restriction: You will need to ask your doctor a about how much fluid you can have in a day. When the heart does not work properly, it affects the working of other organs such as the kidneys. The kidneys’ ability to get rid of both water and salt from the body is affected in such cases. The excess water in the body gets into the tissues and causes edema or swelling. This edema can affect a person’s breathing. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the amount of fluid you can have daily, depending on the severity of the aortic stenosis and the way your kidneys are currently functioning.
- Fiber: It is essential to eat enough dietary fiber when you suffer from a heart problem like aortic stenosis. Ensure that your diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole grains and brown rice are good sources of fiber.
- Other foods: A rule of thumb for such an aortic stenosis diet is that it should be low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Ensure that fat intake is limited to no more than 20 to 25% of your total calorie intake. Substitute olive oil for vegetable oil. Eat more lean meat like fish, turkey and chicken (skinless). Limit or avoid the intake of red meat or pork. These meats fall into the category of aortic stenosis foods to avoid. This will help to bring cut down your fat intake.
- Alcohol: If you have aortic stenosis, you will need to severely restrict or even forfeit all types of alcoholic beverages unless your doctor says otherwise.
- Vitamins: Check with your doctor about adding vitamin supplements to your aortic stenosis diet. These vitamin supplements could include Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B4, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12.
- Iron intake: It is advisable to limit your iron intake as too much iron can increase your risk of atherosclerosis. It is important to discuss such restrictions with your doctor before implementing them in your regular diet plan.
It is also important to remember to eat small meals instead of large heavy ones, and to avoid fad diets. Follow a well balanced diet to avoid unnecessary stress and strain on your system. If you are on any prescribed diuretic medication, you may need to include potassium rich foods in your diet as certain types of diuretics lower your potassium levels. These include peas, grapefruits, oranges, raisins, bananas and apricots.
You will also have to discuss any vitamin and mineral supplements with your doctor, especially if you are considering Vitamin D supplements. Taking vitamin D for aortic stenosis may not be advisable as research has now shown a link between vitamin D absorption abnormalities and aortic stenosis. Some studies carried out in this field also show that calcium supplements without added vitamin D can raise the risk of calcification and heart attacks as well. You will need to discuss these findings with your doctor or a cardiologist.
There is a definite link between Aortic stenosis and vitamin K as new research has shown that the intake of vitamin K may reduce arterial calcification. Vitamin K helps to keep calcium in the bones and thus prevents the buildup of calcium in the arteries. Vitamin K is needed to regulate the calcium content in the body.
A deficiency of vitamin K status causes brittle bones and a vascular system that hardens to a state of poor functionality. Vitamin K2 for aortic stenosis is recommended for this very reason mentioned above.