What Not To Eat With Congestive Heart Failure?

What Not To Eat With Congestive Heart Failure?

Congestive heart failure is a serious disease that has to be managed with medication as well as changes in lifestyle. This disease is progressive in nature and thus special attention should be paid in what the patient eats. Some of the foods to avoid in congestive heart failure include-

Sodium- It is very important to cut down the sodium intake if a patient is diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Highly salty food should be avoided and food with low sodium content should be consumed. This is because sodium facilitates water retention in the body. The salt intake should be limited to a maximum of 2,000 mg per day. It is important to check the food labels while buying food to find out the amount of salt content in the item to be consumed.

Foods with Saturated Fat: Foods high on saturated fats should be avoided because they increase blood cholesterol which is harmful for the functioning of the heart and the bold vessels. Increased blood cholesterol leads to plaque formation in the blood vessels which lead to blockage. Red meat, whole milk, sausages and cheese are known to be high on saturated fat and such foods should not be consumed much. Consumption of butter too should be avoided as much as possible.

Processed Food- Processed food comes in cans is not healthy for people with congestive heart failure as they contain a lot of preservatives and are not quite fresh. They also have a high content of sodium in them which leads to water retention in the body. Home-made fresh soup and vegetables should be consumed instead of canned vegetables and soups. Salad dressings, noodles and all sorts of processed juices should be avoided.

Alcohol- It is very important to limit the consumption of alcohol when the patient is diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Alcohol is known to interfere with the functioning of the heart by slowing down the heart rate and also can interfere with the medications. It is important to talk to the doctor.

Fluid Intake- Limiting fluid intake is extremely essential in case the patient reaches an advanced stage of the congestive heart failure. Increased fluid intake leads to water accumulation in the body which can be easily spotted with increase in body weight. Limiting the fluid intake to 8 ounces per day is beneficial.

What are Some Of The Things To Remember While Serving Food To A Patient With Congestive Heart Failure?

It is important from the caregiver’s part to ensure that the patient with congestive heart failure gets the right food to eat.

  • One must read the labels of the items to be bought for cooking. Anything with high salt content like canned foods and instant cereals should be avoided.
  • The person who cooks food for the patient should add low salt in the food. The patient should not be given table salt shakers to avoid more salt consumption.
  • Herbs and spices like onion and garlic can be added to the food instead of salt to bring flavor in the dish which the patient can enjoy.
  • One must be careful while using condiments in the food because they contain artificial flavor enhancers and salts which are not good for patients with congestive heart failure.


Early lifestyle changes arrests the progression of congestive heart failure in patients. Alcohol consumption should be reduced for a healthy lifestyle. It is important to limit water intake because increased water lead to accumulation of it in the body. Above all, a healthy lifestyle includes the practice of staying active. The power of any form of routine exercise cannot be underestimated.

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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:March 1, 2018

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