Chagas Disease 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:
- B-complex vitamins:
- Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins. Some people may benefit from these supplements.
Continue to Chagas Disease Taking Control
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