• December 30, 2021
  • Revive
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Patients undergoing heart transplant have end stage heart failure which requires a lot of restrictions in their diet. However, after undergoing heart transplant surgery patients need to undergo another diet change in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, you have to make sure to eat after a heart transplant as the medications tend to dissipate the sense of taste and the appetite to eat.

The first heart transplant took place in the year 1967 which is considered to be a significant event in the history of transplants. Dr Christiaan Barnard along with his team performed the first heart transplant. They became renowned for introducing to the world what is transplanting in humans.

Diet problems related to heart transplant

Diet problems

After undergoing a heart transplant surgery, you may always not feel full hence, you might find yourself eating smaller meals than usual. However, after the first heart transplant surgery, one needs proteins and carbohydrates to heal oneself. Start eating frequently if you are eating less.

If you like to add food products to your diet you may add fruit juices and milkshakes. You can even add fresh fruits if you desire. You will get the essential vitamins and minerals from these products.

If you feel like you do not know what is transplanting and what to eat after it, you may consult a dietician for a food chart or even a supplement for supplementing the nutrient deficiency in your body.

Tips that will help you on the recovery journey


You will have to restrict the calories. Becoming overweight is a commonly observed phenomenon in heart transplant patients. A few medications can increase your hunger and thus you may find yourself eating more than usual. At these points, you have to watch what you consume. Becoming overweight gives sufficient strain to the new heart as it has to overwork in order to cater for the needs of your body.

Stay away from cholesterol. The saturated fats along with cholesterol are deposited on the blood vessels and make them narrower causing blockage of blood vessels. A few medications have been observed to increase the fat percentage in heart transplant patient’s body, so you have to reduce your intake of carbs and fats in order to avoid further coronary artery diseases. It will help if you bake or roast your food instead of frying them.

A few foods containing high cholesterol and saturated fats are listed below.

  • Liver 
  • Egg yolk
  • Whole milk
  • Fried food
  • Coconut
  • Cocoa
  • Palm
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Cheese

You have to restrict fluids and sodium in your diet. Medications related to heart to heart transplant causes the build up of fluid in your body. Sodium also causes this build up. If both are doing the same job then you will have an excess build up of fluid in your blood vessels hindering the job of the heart. To cut off on fluids you have to switch to the solid version of food instead of indulging in the liquid ones. If you like fruits you have to eat fruit and not fruit juice. Try to avoid canned food if possible as they contain a high amount of salts. 

Caffeine rich food should be cut down from the dies. If you cannot cut it altogether you have to at least restrict its usage. Include foods like oats, fenugreek, barley that are rich in soluble fibre into your diet. These foods will help you decrease the level of cholesterol in the blood and prevent coronary artery diseases after heart transplant in India

The habit of consuming alcohol must be changed after heart transplant. Alcohol increases the level of triglyceride fats in the blood stream which can prove fatal after heart transplant. It also harms the liver functioning. 

You should have protein rich diet in order to heal from the trauma of heart transplant surgery. During the initial days after heart transplant doctor might suggest you’re a diet rich in protein but it will depend on the functioning of your kidneys. After you have healed superficially, the amount of protein can be toned down.

Foods to ignore after heart transplant

As evident from the previous lines, there are many types of foods that you must cut down after undergoing heart transplant surgery. This list will help you identify those foods at once.

  • Canned food
  • Tomato sauce or paste
  • Bacon fat
  • Olive
  • Alcohol
  • Corn chips and potato chips with salt seasonings
  • Monosodium glutamate should be avoided in any packaged food
  • Frozen foods
  • Peanut butter
  • Cured and smoked meat
  • Raw honey

All of these restrictions might be overwhelming but they are going to help you in the long run to maintain a healthy and fruitful life. After you have recovered from the heart transplant there is not much holding you back and you will be able to live a healthy life.

Make sure to check out 7 Symptoms Should Know About Cardiac Arrest

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