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Nutrition for Heart Failure

Fluid Intake

In heart failure, the body often retains fluid, leading to:

  • Increased blood pressure (heart needs to work harder)
  • Shortness of breath (due to fluids in the lungs)
  • Swelling on ankles, face and hands
  • Nausea and bloating

Tips for fluid control

  • Use measuring cups to accurately measure your fluid intake.
  • Spread your fluid allowance over the day.
  • Use a small rather than large cup.
  • Remember to include food that contains large amount of fluid. (E.g. Fruits, soup etc.)
  • Limit salt and salty foods as these make you thirsty.
  • Brush your teeth, gargle with mouthwash or try mint/chewing gum to freshen your mouth.
  • Suck slowly on lemon slices or frozen fluids from your allowance

Salt Intake

Too much salt in your diet can make the body hold on to water. It may worsen symptoms such as swelling, bloating and shortness of breath. Therefore, your heart has to work harder to pump around this extra fluid in the body.

Tips to reduce salt intake

  • Limit intake of high salt food and go easy on condiments and sauces.
  • Choose products labelled “low salt” or “no added salt”.
  • Choose fresh foods instead of processed food such as canned, cured, pickled foods.
  • Minimize added salt at the table or in cooking.
  • Use natural herbs, spices, pepper, lemongrass, garlic, onion, shallots, lemon, tomato, vinegar to add flavour to foods.
  • Make stock by boiling chicken, meat bones, and vegetables instead of using stock cubes or powders.
  • Choose meehoon or kueyteow over yellow noodles which is higher in salt

Referral to the Dietitian

For more nutrition information and consultation, please contact IJN’s Diet Clinic.

Diet Clinic Block A: 03-26006596

Diet Clinic Block B: 03-26006942

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