Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Heart Healthy Tips
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle to manage HCM
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential in the management of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Eating a nutritious, well balanced diet, avoiding nutrient-poor foods, and regular physical activity are the key components of heart healthy living.
Dieting Should Be Avoided
Nutrient-rich foods have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients you need. Fruits and vegetables in their natural state (raw, steamed, boiled or fresh) provide the most benefits. Nutrient-poor foods such as french fries, donuts and soda should be avoided.
A Healthy Lifestyle Should Be the Goal
While healthy eating is important, physical activity and stress reduction are also key components in the management of HCM. Light to moderate aerobic activity (walking, hiking, biking or light jogging) is a great way to improve blood cholesterol levels, manage high blood pressure, keep weight under control, boost energy and reduce stress.
It is essential to stay well hydrated. Patients with HCM should always try to maintain a steady fluid balance because dehydration can cause an increase in symptoms. Patients with HCM must avoid competitive sports, sports that require bursts of activity, and isometric exercise such as power weight lifting and bodybuilding. Additionally, exercising in extreme weather should be avoided.
Heart Healthy Food Tips
Fruits and Vegetables
- Eat 6-8 fruits and vegetables a day, most preferable in their fresh, natural state (raw, steamed or boiled).
- The best carbohydrates are from fruits and vegetables.
- Plant proteins; soy, nuts, beans, legumes
- Fish, tofu, egg whites, organic or omega fortified whole eggs
- Everyone needs fat.
- Increase unsaturated fats such as small amounts of walnuts or avocado.
- Eliminate trans fats/saturated fats such as potato chips, red meat and margarine.
- Avoid high heat cooking of oils since high temperatures can change good fat into bad fat.
- Canola oil is better than olive oil (olive oil has 15% saturated fat).
- Limit fat from dairy including milk, cheese and yogurt. Make low-fat or non-fat choices.
- Food items with longer shelf lives are more likely to have a higher amount of saturated fat.
- Make your own trail mix with dried fruit, nuts and raisins.
- Raw fruits and vegetables like carrot sticks or apple slices.
- Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are also found in red wine, certain fruits, vegetables, and teas. The recommended dose of 1 ounce per day can increase blood flow in arteries, reduce the chance of blood clots, decrease LDL cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.
- Regular physical activity helps maintain weight.
- The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 days a week. Our physicians recommend 60 minutes of moderate activity 7 days a week.
- Begin with 30 minutes of walking and increase by 10 minutes every week with a goal of 1 hour. Walking for 60 minutes at 4 miles per hour every day is ideal exercise that will reduce the chance of developing obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and osteoporosis.
Stress Reduction Tips
- Incorporate quiet time, meditation or prayer into daily routine.
- Adequate sleep for an adult is 7-8 hours while children require more sleep depending on their age.
- Limit light exposure in the room while sleeping or prior to falling asleep since darkness aids melatonin production which helps regulate the sleep and wake cycles.