Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Support Group

Atrial fibrillation (AF or afib) is an abnormal heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmia) which involves the two small, upper heart chambers (the atria). Heart beats in a normal heart begin after electricity generated in the atria by the sinoatrial node spread through the heart and cause contraction of the heart muscle and pumping of blood.

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food to eat

hey any advise what food to eat ,can anyone like to share what do they eat at breakfast , lunch and dinner .


thanks

ray
los angeles

Replies

Cheryl7
Cheryl7

Hi Ray,

Before I was diagnosed with afib I wouldnt always eat breakfast. But since being dx I have to eat breakfast. I take Multaq twice a day and it has to be taken with morning and evening meals.
Normally weekday mornings I have either cereal or oatmeal with granola and raisins. Weekends I am not rushed so I may have toast, scrambled eggs. Lunch, it varies, weekdays a salad or baked potato, yogurt. Dinners are pretty much a normal meal consisting of a vegetable and a main course. I dont eat fried foods. I avoid caffeine and alcohol. If we have chicken, its baked. I love fruit, eat a lot of fruit.

Best wishes!
marikay234
marikay234

Foods that can trigger a fib for alot of people are alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, sodium, wheat sometimes, and just plain overeating.

In general, you should eat heart healthy. Fruit, vegetables, whole grains (not processed white flour), low fat or fat free dairy products, and lean meats and fish. Bake broil or grill.

for me breakfast is yogurt and a hard boiled egg, or high fiber cereal (kashi). Lunch is usually left overs from dinner the night before, or a salad. Dinner is usually chicken, turkey, or fish, a vegetable and sometimes a potato or rice, maybe a salad. I try to have fruit for a snack, but that is where I have a problem. Last night I was looking in the freezer for some chocolate chips (I freeze them so they are less tempting but it doesn't always work..lol). Luckily there were none.
ScottZZ
ScottZZ

Hi Ray,
That is a loaded question :-) You have to find out what brings out your A Fib and avoid those food items. It is different for different people.

The best way is to try eating different things and keep a diary of what you eat and if it gave you A Fib. However, you have to be brave and try each food item several times before you absolutely are sure about its effect on your A Fib. But, make sure that you have a little of a suspected food the second and third time.

For me, I have a cup of very strong coffee in the morning. I have found out that coffee gets rid of my A Fib if I have it (yes, very strange). I usually have eggs and potatoes (sutte) or eggs and toast in the morning. Absolutely, no fish oil or peanut butter since they give me A Fib. In addition, oatmeal gives me slight irregular heart beat because of high potassium content. I am very sensitive to food with lots of potassium.

For lunch, I eat brown rice, quinoa, beans (various kinds), veggies with olive oil/balsamic vinegar. For dinner, salads, beans, cooked vegtables, yogurt, and fruits. I eat chicken and fish only once in a while.

In general, my A Fib is caused by fish oil (the worst), butter, nuts, food with lots of cream, and anything with more than 25 mg of man-made potassium or lots of natural potassium. I am not taking any medication to control my A Fib. I just control it by what I eat.

For me, the best food A Fib has been eggs and dry toast with jam. The worst food has been any food with lots of cream and butter (Pasta Alfredo).

Best of luck to you in getting your A Fib resolved.
Scott
Paul60
Paul60

My big trigger is sodium (yet my BP shows as normal on a 24 hour heart monior). Some salsa with chips will definately trigger my afib. I've been caffine free for 30 years and I'm lactose intolerant. Once in a while I'll sneak in one ice cream or a Pepsi. I definately would not attempt caffinated coffee, but a do try white tea (which has the lowest caffine) on occassion. I found the remarks about potasium interesting. I take a potasium and magnesium pill daily to help control my afib. Since a exerise 1-3 hrs daily, and sweat a lot, I need the extra minerals. Also, there are some on this forum who take loads of magnesium for afib.

I take 25 mg metoprolol daily for the last 2 years. I tried 50mg initially (the minimum does) but that caused my resting heart rate to stay around 38, much too slow. With 25 mg my resting heart rate is around 52. I have 1-4 short episodes a day, with the drug, my heart rate stays below 135 at those times. I can live with that. I'm almost 62 and have been a body builder all my life.
marikay234
marikay234

Ray,
this is all good advice, and different foods are triggers for different people. But triggers are things that put us into a fib. If you are in constant a fib, which it sounds like you are, then trying and eliminating various foods probably isn't going to help. You're not likely to convert to normal sinus rhythm on your own at this point. I like Scott's diet-sounds like it is very low in animal fats, and beans are loaded with fiber.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I haven't quite figure out how to start a discussion, so adding my post on my situation today.

This week end has been really bad for me. I am in my third week of taking digoxin with diltiazem and warfarin. Can't take multaq or metropolol because I break out in a rash.

Mentally I am really sad. My energy and stamina level is nul. My husband says it is my body getting use to the meds. It is really difficult for me because before being diagnosed, I was full of enery (even at 64). This week end all I want to do is cry. Am I just being a wooze? Trying to accept this, but find sometime difficult. I know I tol Ray it will change, but now I feel like a hypocrite.
ScottZZ
ScottZZ

ginaarizona,
What you feel is real, and in my opinion is the effect of the drugs that you are taking. Don't kid yourself that you will get used to them. You will not, in my opinion. That was the case with me when I got my A Fib and they put me on Digoxin and Atenolol. The Digoxin made my vision messed up. I saw things with tint of yellow. I was a mess because of the drugs. Drugs work for some people but create big problems for some others like me. I dropped the digoxin on my own after I read about its side effects. My vision got corrected within 2 days. Then, I reduced the Atenolol from 50 to 25 mg. I got better . The point I am trying to make is that you are NOT a WOOZE. It is the drugs. You got to ask your Doc to change them. Remember, quality of life matters even when you have A FIB. There are answers to your A Fib, you just have to find them, keep looking, do not accept the BS of the doctors. Change them, fire them until you find the right doctor and your answer. You should drive your health not the doctors, they must listen to you. you are the customer. Do NOT accept their arrogance! Fire them.

Paul60,
Be very careful with potassium pill. I used to take them also. Do not mess around with potassium. It can be very nasty since it has direct effect on beating of your heart. Please read about it. Google it, you will see. Instead of potassium pills, eat fruits and veggies, which have natural potassium, you can stir fry some yams, they are loaded with potassium. However, try to go a few days without taking potassium pills. See if your A Fib gets worse or better. Then, you know. I get very bad case of A Fib if I take any un-natural potassium even if it is in a drug like Amoxicillin (an antibiotic). I always tell my doctors to give me drugs (if any) which are NOT a drevitive of potassium.

Magnesium is okay since it calms the muscles (and the heart).
deleted_user
deleted_user

I was diagnosed 3 years ago - it was quite a shock - I had no other health issues. I was not depressed, but I was in denial. I really thought that this would be temporary. I have been on 4 or 5 different betta blockers and currently on Sotolol 240mg 2/day and warfarin. I had a tia (mini stroke) a little over a year ago and finally had an ablation 2 months ago. It will take 4 more months to know if it is successful or will I have to have another.

I have never been able to find a trigger for the episodes. With my drs blessing, I do drink coffee and it has never brought on afib and if I am feeling good, I will have a glass of wine with dinner. Common sense tells me not to overdue. As my grandma told me, everything in moderation.

I have not made any changes to my diet, I just try to eat healthy and smaller portions. I do watch my greens or the foods that interfere with the blood thinner. I did have a 2-day bleed shortly after the ablation, while my dosage was being adjusted. The EP dr suggested I take motrin for inflammation, but that was the wrong info he gave me. We all learn from mistakes.

The meds do seem to drain me of energy, but I do try to get to yoga 2/week and I am just now getting back to the fitness club. I am also on a lawn bowling team and in general very active. If I don't push myself to be involved in like, I could be very lazy around the house.

Anyway, for what it's worth, that's my story.

I love this site, it give us a place to ask questions, learn about others with afib, and sometime just vent.

Take care, everyone. Joan
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have lost my appetite so I am hardly eating right now. I find that after exercise I get easily dehydrated, so I have added bananas to my diet and high protein LUNA bars. Otherwise, I eat hearth healthy, too. No salt, no sugar, and I've cut the peanuts--all because I've read about the experience of others on this site.

I too, become a bit down while adjusting to medications, or if the fatigue has caused me to miss out on activities. Ginaarizona --don't think this "down phase" will last. It too shall pass and lovely things will happen again. Just tolerate the lows and get a bit more rest for now. Treat yourself too. And talk to close friends alot while you feel badly, or any friends. Their good moods will lift you.
ScottZZ
ScottZZ

Hi twinsisters (Joan),
I can assure you that your A Fib trigger is somewhere. You just have to find it. Please bear in mind that there might be a long time (hours) between something you eat and an A Fib episode. That is the reason it is so hard to find a trigger. But, if you keep note of what you eat/do and when your A Fib occurs, eventually you will see a connection.

Everything in our bodies is regulated by some chemical reaction including your heart beats. Your heart beats are regulated by potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and etc. If there is an imbalance in chemicals, which regulate your heart beats, your heart does not beat correctly. I know it is a lot more complex than what I am saying. But, you have to look at it in a simple way. On that note, when we eat, it takes a while (hours) for the minerals and stuff in the food to enter into our blood stream. So, it might take hours before an imbalance gets created in our body, which is the right condition for an A Fib episode.

For example, it takes me about an hour to have an A Fib after eating something with fortified potassium. But, fish oil, peanut butter brings out an A Fib after 5 to 8 hours.

Also, as KrazyP pointed out, there is a lot of money in the A Fib arena. Doctors and drug companies are benefiting from the A Fib epidomy in the US. There is absolutely no incentive for research to connect the A Fib to diet and food. Usually, the drug companies perform the research and the doctors use the results. I can assure you the drug companies will NOT come up with a reseach, which puts a dent in their profits. The doctors don't have any problem with that either. Remember, drug companies do NOT work for charity. They are for profit public companies. They are doing their job very well, making money for their share holders. Nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

So, it is up to us, the people, to come up with solution for our A Fib if we don't like taking drugs . It is pretty simple.

Also, remember, the best doctors for A Fib did not become the best by curring people via diet. They became the best by performing procedures like ABLATION. So, the best doctors are not a good source to ask for advice regarding diet for A Fib :-) Diet is not their specialty, performing procedures is what they are good at.

Just my opinion. Please let me what you think and/or if I am way off in my thinking. Thanks.
Scott
deleted_user
deleted_user

am so Thankful for this website,and to everyone that shares there information,i was wondering if anyone feel's panic with the afib,i had a heart attack 3 yrs ago was brought back as i like to put it 7 times, with having complications, nothing was done,(long story) i deal with PTSD, & panic attacks, when dealing daily with afib, depresstion to where i do not go out much or exercise, reading this website helps me feel am not alone
marikay234
marikay234

Hi Dottie,
I'm a nurse and in school I remember learning that patient's who have a heart problem often have a "sense of impending doom". Well...that's a good description. I get very anxious when in a fib, and I think it is a normal response. Some of us seem to be more prone to panic disorder and so it may be worse for us.
I just started taking flecainide 2 weeks ago and have been a fib free. I feel much calmer as well. It's as though a weight has been lifted. I can make plans without wondering if A Fib will interfere.
You are definitely not alone. Sounds like you have been stuck for awhile....don't accept that this is the best it is going to get. I think you will be able to improve the quality of your life. Many wonderful people here to support you.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I am finding this very interesting. Yes, the medicines had started to make me feel worse as I got better. So doctor cut the digoxin in half and the metoprolol by 2/3 's. I have had this 10 months. Sugar seems to me what the doctor wants me off of the most. At this level I seems to be able to take the medicine plus the warfarin and thyroid pill.

I was eating a lot of cheap candy when this came on. So it could well have been sugar and chocolate. I did not know till this forum food could cause it. But I started loosing too much wt and not over wt to start with. I have to eat and more times a day. So low sugar, low salt and I had to add some fat back into my diet as too low it seems for me. I use whole milk now and little butter, and canola oil and more bread. What to snack on is hard, No acid stuff. Supper tonight is seasoned mashed potatoes and canned carrots and turkey sausage (no salt) patty on a bun cup of milk. Quick as I get off this soybean oil peanutbutter I will add ather small serving of greenbeans or peas or can have lettuce. Least that is what I am figuring. I found one evening I was hit 120 maybe 130 I had not eaten much supper that evening and figured that was the cause. Last about 10 mins. I was at rest and reading when it happened. I have been eating supper better. I was boiling my meat, now fry it in little oil. I was just spraying the pan. Now my appetite is back and I have gained 4 pounds of wt back. He wants like 115. I am at 109 now.