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Heart Failure from Alcohol Diet
- 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.
Other general healthy diet measures for people with heart disease include:
- Control calories:
- Eat quality fats:
- Use virgin olive oil and other unsaturated, low-cholesterol fats.
- Eat the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and protein:
- Limit your fat intake to 20 or 30 percent, but don't substitute simple carbohydrates for fat.
- 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
- Avoid fad diets:
- Eat a well-rounded diet instead.
- Eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid large and heavy meals.
- Limit cholesterol in diet:
- To less than 200 milligrams a day.
- Limit iron intake:
- Eat enough dietary fiber:
- Whole grains are best.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Reduce salt in your diet
- Optimal: no more than 1,500 milligrams per day.
- Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins:
Continue to Heart Failure from Alcohol Lifestyle
PubMed Heart Failure from Alcohol References
- Demakis JG, Proskey A, Rahimtoola SH, et al: The natural course of alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Ann Intern Med 1974 Mar; 80(3): 293-7. 
- Estruch R, Fernandez-Sola J, Sacanella E, et al: Relationship between cardiomyopathy and liver disease in chronic alcohol abuse. Hepatology 1995 Aug; 22(2): 532-8. 
- Fernandez-Sola J, Estruch R, Nicolas JM, et al: Comparison of alcoholic cardiomyopathy in women versus men. Am J Cardiol 1997 Aug 15; 80(4): 481-5. 
- Lee WK, Regan TJ. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy: is it dose-dependent? Congest Heart Fail. 2002 Nov-Dec;8(6):303-6. 
- McKenna CJ, Codd MB, McCann HA, Sugrue DD: Alcohol consumption and idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: a case control study. Am Heart J 1998 May; 135: 833-7. 
- Patel VB, Why HJ, Richardson PJ, Preedy VR: The effects of alcohol on the heart. Adverse Drug React Toxicol Rev 1997 Mar; 16(1): 15-43.