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What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Patent Foramen Ovale?

Infants with congenital heart conditions need to follow special dietary restrictions such as eating a healthy and balanced diet and limiting cholesterol.1

Using low-fat or non-fat diets, reduce the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, using lean meats, and increasing fish consumption can reduce the risk of further complications.2

Several studies suggest that getting enough exercise and preventing obesity can help control blood pressure and reduce the occurrence of repeat stroke.3,4

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Patent Foramen Ovale?

What To Eat & Avoid When You Have Patent Foramen Ovale?

Although patent foramen ovale is a birth time complication however physical inactivity, obesity, and unhealthy lifestyle are certain to increase the risk of complications. A statistic shows that 20% of patients with congenital heart conditions follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Sometimes it is easier to avoid than to eat especially when you have symptoms with patent foramen ovale you can improve the quality of life by reducing or eliminating certain foods from your diet. Also, it is important to maintain blood pressure control, diet, and exercise to prevent recurrent strokes.1

Therefore, one of the best things to prevent symptoms and reduce the risk of heart disease is to maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy diet. Children and adults may be obese or suffer abnormal blood pressure levels. This complicates the existing heart conditions and other health problems.

Dietary Fats And Cholesterol Levels– Cholesterol is important to build cell membrane structure and maintain several metabolic functions. Studies show eating food rich in unsaturated fatty acids instead of saturated fats helps maintain cholesterol levels.2

Saturated Fats – Also called bad cholesterol, too much saturated fats can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, it is one of the common diets in American food such as processed food, burger, bacon, sausages, chocolates, and many more.

Trans fats- It’s one of the worst types of fat that raises your bad cholesterol to build up in your arteries and lowers good cholesterol. Trans fats are from partially hydrogenated oils, so even small amounts of trans fats can harm health. Foods that contain trans fats include baked foods (cakes & cookies), microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, migraine, and others.

Healthy Eating- Ideally, a healthy plate includes a combination of 25% of protein, 25% carbohydrates, and 50% of vegetables. This not only helps you maintain a healthy body weight rather provides essential nutrients to the body as well. Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, berries, walnuts, and beans can lower blood pressure and prevent the risk of recurrent stroke and heart-related conditions. 3,4

When you feel hungry snack on a handful of raw and unsalted nuts.

Patent foramen ovale is one of the common heart conditions occurring even in healthy people. It is a hole between the right and left atria and a remnant of the normal fetal circulation. Patent foramen ovale is mostly an asymptomatic condition in infants and is not advised until adulthood.

Most babies born with PFO produce no signs and symptoms and do not need a special diet. However, when the patients experience complications your healthcare provider may recommend following a dietary guideline. For instance, infants born with patent foramen ovale will face a real hard time in gaining weight so they would require a high-calorie diet however adults with a severe heart condition will need to limit sodium and increase fruit and vegetable intake.


  1. “Patent Foramen Ovale.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Mar. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/patent-foramen-ovale/symptoms-causes/syc-20353487.
  2. “5 Tips You Need to Know About PFO.” The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, 13 Nov. 2017, www.secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/5-tips-you-need-to-know-about-pfo
  3. Team, Heart and Vascular. “When Do You Need That Hole In Your Heart Closed?” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 28 Aug. 2020, health.clevelandclinic.org/when-do-you-need-that-hole-in-your-heart-closed/
  4. “Patent Foramen Ovale Transcatheter Repair- a procedure to fix this hole in the heart.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/patent-foramen-ovale-transcatheter-repair.

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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:January 10, 2023

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