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Understanding and Managing Chronic Heart Failure

Understanding and Managing CHRONIC HEART FAILURE • Limit fats and cholesterol: Coronary artery disease is often linked to chronic heart failure, and consuming too much saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat in your diet can contribute to coronary artery disease. Limit these fats in your diet. Again, it’s important to read food labels to find out how much fat you’re getting in the foods you eat. • Limit alcohol and fluids, if your doctor instructs you to do so. Alcohol can weaken your heart muscle and increase the likelihood of getting arrhythmias, so your doctor may recommend that you severely limit or avoid alcohol altogether. People who have more severe chronic heart failure may have to limit their fluid intake, as well. Your doctor will let you know what level of fluids is best for your condition. • Eat lean meats and poultry without skin. Prepare them without adding salt and saturated fat or cholesterol. Watch your portion sizes, as well. Generally, you want to keep your serving size to the size of your fist—about 4 to 6 oz. • Eat fish at least twice a week. Oily fish (such as salmon, trout and herring) contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can help cut the risk of getting coronary artery disease. • Choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products. • Eat plenty of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Try to get four to five servings per day. • Avoid processed foods as much as possible. They tend to be high in sodium. Read the food label to be sure. • Request little to no added salt when dining out. It’s also a good idea to request that dishes be baked or steamed, rather than fried. 16


Understanding and Managing Chronic Heart Failure
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