Rigid Diet or General Principles?
Most people struggle to follow a rigid diet. One bad day at work, one family vacation, or one night out with friends can make many commercial diets frustrating, if not impossible, to follow. Slip too many times and you might find yourself ready to give up.
Thus, it may be better to focus on the principles behind these diets. For example, the primary benefit of a low-carb diet might boil down to reducing gluten. If you’re gluten-sensitive you’ll tend to gather weight around your gut, which can crowd the stomach and diaphragm into the heart area. This crowding can increase the number of episodes you suffer.
By focusing on the principles, you can control your shopping and cooking. For the most part, you’ll eat healthy enough, but you won’t have to obsess or beat yourself up if you break and indulge in a piece of pizza at an office party.
Building Your Own “Afib Diet”
If you’re going to focus on the principles bringing all these diets together then you’ll want to let the following guidelines influence your food choices:
- Choose whole grains over simple carbs, or eliminate carbs and gluten altogether
- Watch the GI index. Choose non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits
- Eat protein every day, but focus more on fish and fowl than on red meat
- Use healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil
- Use caffeine and alcohol only in moderation
- Limit processed foods, sugar, and soda
As a bonus, following these principles won’t just help you manage your afib, but they’ll improve your overall health and may even lead to long-term weight loss.
Author byline: Travis Van Slooten is an atrial fibrillation patient who has been passionate about providing knowledge, inspiration, and support to fellow afibbers through his blog at www.livingwithatrialfibrillation.com