Did you know high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart disease? According to the American Heart Association, high blood pressure, or hypertension, and heart disease can be prevented by implementing a heart healthy diet.
It is even more important to be mindful of your diet and nutrition if you have been admitted to a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) after a recent hospitalization, particularly if you or your loved one are living with a chronic heart condition or have experienced a stroke.
Maintaining a healthy heart is critical in preventing a rehospitalization. Your health care team may suggest working with a Registered Dietitian (RD) to determine your specific nutritional needs to help manage your blood pressure, cholesterol, or heart disease. A nutritious diet can play a large role in a person’s overall recovery and is necessary to maintain healthy organ function and sufficient energy. The American Heart Association advises consuming a diet filled with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and plenty of water.
Fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, carrots, apples, and bananas are essential to a heart healthy diet. These foods are high in fiber and filled with the nutrients a person needs to reduce their high blood pressure.
Lean proteins such as fish, turkey, eggs, and legumes provide the amino acids that are necessary in building muscle and improving strength during rehabilitation.
Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, and quinoa contain essential nutrients, are high in fiber, and can help regulate blood sugar level and reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 30%.
Foods containing healthy fat such as avocados and nuts are critical in preventing high cholesterol which can reduce the risk of heart disease. On the contrary, it is important to limit eating foods with high saturated and trans fat which can increase your cholesterol levels and contribute to potential heart disease.
If you are living with a chronic heart condition, or have experienced cardiac trauma, you should also consider limiting your intake of salt, sugar, fatty meats, and processed food to help manage your heart health.
When a person is admitted into a Prestige Care Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, they may require a modified or specialized diet. Our dietary team works closely with the patient, their medical team, and their family to develop a personalized meal plan to ensure they are receiving the diet and nutrition they need to support a successful recovery. They take into consideration the variety of nutritional needs for each individual throughout their entire stay, assist the patient with post-discharge meal planning, and provide education to help maintain a healthy diet.
At Prestige, we know the importance of consuming a well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy heart to ensure a successful recovery. Our highly knowledgeable dietary teams are dedicated to providing each person with the personalized meal plans they need to contribute to their overall rehabilitation. Our goal is to successfully transition patients from hospital to home with the tools and resources necessary to manage and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Contact the center closest to you or your loved one to find out more about their Cardiac Rehabilitation services.