Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care diet taking control warning signs Prevention Complications Underlying Cause

American Trypanosomiasis Diet

It is important to follow a healthy diet if you have Chagas disease.

  • Control dietary salt: Lower dietary sodium by following a special diet that is low in salt. All heart failure patients should limit salt intake to 1,000-1,500 mg of sodium per day. Foods that are high in salt should be avoided.
    • Do not use table salt; consider a salt substitute with your doctor's consent. Season foods with dried herbs, garlic, onion, or lemons.
  • Fluid restriction: Ask your doctor what degree you need to restrict fluid consumption. Ask your doctor how many 8 ounce cups (240 ml) of water you allowed to drink per day.
    • Remember 2 cups (1 pint or about 500 ml) of retained fluid will equal one pound (2.2 kg) of fluid weight gain.
  • Heart healthy diet: Follow a proper heart diet, which is low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Most people with heart failure taking a diuretic medication need to eat potassium rich foods.
    • Potassium rich foods include bananas, apricots, raisins, oranges, grapefruit, and peas.
  • Magnesium: Eat foods rich in magnesium. Heart failure drugs can deplete the body's stores of magnesium. This has been correlated with more severe symptoms and a higher death rate.
    • Foods high in magnesium include wheat germ, soybeans, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, low-fat diary items, and seafood.

A generally healthy diet for people with heart disease should include:
  • Limit total fat intake to no more than 20 to 25% of your total calories:
    • Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
    • Up to 10% of the day's total calories from polyunsaturated fat.
    • Up to 20% of the day's total calories from monounsaturated fat
  • Less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
  • Just enough calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. (You may want to ask your doctor or registered dietitian what is a reasonable calorie level for you.)
  • Reduced salt to 1,500 milligrams per day.
  • Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Limiting iron intake: too much iron can increase atherosclerosis
  • More complex carbohydrates, such as starch and fiber. Whole grains and brown rice are good fiber sources. Other sources include:
    • Fruits
    • Vegetables
    • Bran
    • Barley
    • Oats
    • Legumes
  • B-complex vitamins:
    • Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins. Some people may benefit from these supplements.

Continue to American Trypanosomiasis Taking Control

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed American Trypanosomiasis References
  1. Andersson J. Molecular diagnosis of experimental Chagas disease. Trends Parasitol. 2004 Feb;20(2):52-3. [14747014]
  2. Barrett MP, Burchmore RJ, et al. The trypanosomiases. Lancet. 2003 Nov 1;362(9394):1469-80. [14602444]
  3. Olliaro P, Lazdins J, Guhl F. Developments in the treatment of leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2002 May;7(1):61-7. [15989536]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.