Diet after Bypass Surgery|Foods to Take & Foods to Avoid After Bypass Surgery

Bypass surgery is the most effective treatment method for correcting arterial blockages to prevent heart attack. However, just performing bypass surgery and taking some medicines does not ensure complete recovery from the condition and also doesn’t prevent future risk of heart attack. Hence, it is necessary that after the bypass surgery, patient follows both a proper diet and brings change in lifestyle.

Diet after Bypass Surgery

Diet after Bypass Surgery

Diet being one of the key aspects in keeping the cholesterol levels under control, a good and healthy diet plan must be followed after bypass surgery. The diet must include foods which help in reducing the cholesterol levels and avoid the ones that increase it.

Foods to Take After Bypass Surgery

Eating healthy food is necessary since it gives essential and adequate nutrients to maintain overall good health. It also helps to speed the process of healing after bypass surgery.

  • Eating foods low in cholesterol and saturated and trans fats is recommended following bypass surgery. Instead of having fried foods, it is good to bake, boil or steam while preparing foods. According to the American Heart Association’s dietary recommendations
    • There should be less than 7% calories from saturated fat.
    • There should be less than 1% calories from trans fat.
    • One should consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day.
  • After the bypass surgery, one should increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamins and minerals. These contain high amounts of anti-oxidants that help prevent LDL cholesterol from depositing in the arteries of the heart.
  • Consumption of oats, beans and lentils gives soluble fibers. Plenty of soluble fibers help to stimulate the liver to produce HDL cholesterol. Hence these are important foods to be included in your diet after bypass surgery.
  • To maximize digestion of the soluble fibers, one should consume plenty of water.
  • Eating of oily fish or intake of 3-omega containing fatty acids supplement is recommended after bypass surgery. One should consume oily fish twice in a week. This prevents inflammation of the arteries. It is this inflammation that makes the fat in the arteries unstable and causes them to break off and cause blockage.
  • To moderately increase the proportion of monounsaturated (such as olive, rapeseed and groundnut oils) and polyunsaturated fats in the diet and decrease the saturated fat content to less than 10%. This will allow keeping the levels of fats in the blood within normal limits.
  • Eat more of protein containing foods is important after bypass surgery.
  • To eat in small portions rather than in large quantities.

Foods to Avoid in Diet after Bypass Surgery

The following unhealthy foodstuffs are to be avoided particularly after bypass surgery:

  • Sodium Restricted Diet After Bypass Surgery: A person should consume diet that is restricted in sodium content. Generally doctors recommend that such patients should not consume more than 1500 mg of salt per day. Excess sodium leads to retention of excess of water which increases blood pressure. In order to maintain the sodium and water levels in the body, some medications are given to remove excess of water and sodium from the body.
  • Fat Restricted Diet: Many animal based food substances have high cholesterol content in them. Saturated and trans fats are present in a variety of foodstuffs. The saturated fats are present in meat, beef, pork, dairy products, processed foods, chocolates, baked products, deep fried foodstuffs and packaged foods which contain coconut oil and palm oil. Trans fat is present in some fried and processed foods. While cholesterol is present in animal fats and egg yolk. Intake of large amounts of fried food stuffs, increases fat content of the body and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The overall fat intake should not be more than 30% of the total calories each day following bypass surgery.
  • Restrictions on Concentrated Carbohydrate Intake: Following bypass surgery, the doctor advises to restrict on the amount of sugar and other carbohydrates in the diet. Since they add to both calories and increase the triglyceride content in the blood. Hence refined grains, beverages and foods with added sugar should be avoided.
  • Restriction on Alcohol Consumption: Intake of alcohol triggers triglycerides production which adds to the fat in the blood. These get deposited in the arteries of the heart. Hence one should avoid or restrict alcohol intake after bypass surgery.
  • Red Meat: Red meat has high cholesterol content and when fried contains carcinogens. Hence, it is to be avoided after bypass surgery since it will have adverse effects on heart.


Bypass surgery is performed to increase the life span of the patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. However, in order to avoid the recurrence again, it is necessary to consume a balanced and healthy diet along with suitable diet restrictions. This should be coupled with regular aerobic exercises which will enable to maintain the health of the heart in a person after bypass surgery.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 22, 2017

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