Life with the LVAD and nutrition

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March is National Nutrition Month here in the USA. So far, it’s been a great month for you. In dealing with my illness, food has been my primary medicine.

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Over the years, I have come to appreciate the critical role of food and nutrition in how I feel from day to day, in how I support my energy levels and in how I can help optimize my care outcomes. This involves adopting sound eating habits, boundaries, and striving to be consistent. For instance,

  1. I managed to almost entirely cut out salt from my diet. We do not cook with salt, nor do we add extra salt to our meals. Also, we diligently read food labels to make healthier decisions;
  2. I have drastically reduced my sugar intake, from juice, soft drinks to sweets; and
  3. We also limit take-outs food and eating out, but when we do, I watch my food portions and strive to choose wisely.

Being mindful of nutrition is very challenging, it is very hard to remain vigilant and remain disciplined. So, on tough days, when I fall for my indiscretions, I am not too hard on myself. I just try better the next day. I am only human, after all :).

 

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​Below are a few nutrition weblinks from the American Heart Association, AHA that I have found helpful. Please let me know what works for you:

  1. Get recipes and other practical information to help you eat smart by joining Healthy for Good at heart.org/HealthyForGood.
  2. Educate your community on healthy eating with our turn-key educational experiences at heart.org/healthyforlife.
  3. Show your support for strong nutrition laws and policies like those designed to improve kids’ meals, lower sodium and reduce added sugar at YoureTheCure.org.
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