Healthy Foods to Eat After Angioplasty

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Chris Illiades, MD on December 13, 2021
  • cooking
    Your diet is a powerful weapon against heart disease.
    Angioplasty opens blocked arteries but it can’t cure atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. You will need to make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of future problems. And diet is one of the most important. Start by asking your doctor how many calories you should be eating every day to maintain a healthy weight. Then try to get most of these calories from six food categories. Together, these steps can help keep your heart healthy and even boost your overall well-being.
  • basket of vegetables and fruit
    1. Fruits and Vegetables
    Aim for at least 4 to 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. These foods supply all-important vitamins, minerals and fiber. In their natural form, they have very little fat and are generally low in calories. The key is to not load them up with unhealthy toppings, such as butter and high-fat sauces. Instead, add flavor with herbs and spices. Fresh fruits and vegetables are great. Frozen and canned forms are fine too—just avoid ones with added salt or sugar.
  • Bowl of grains
    2. Whole Grains
    Trade in processed white-flour foods—like white bread, pasta and rice—for whole grains. Whole grains retain their fiber, which has heart-health benefits. They also fill you up so you're less likely to overeat. Common whole grains are brown and wild rice, whole wheat, barley, corn, and even plain popcorn. Oats in particular are great because they contain soluble fiber. It helps move cholesterol out of your bloodstream. Try to include a variety of whole grains to get the most health benefits.
  • Eating salmon salad
    3. Poultry and Fish
    Not all protein sources are equally good for you. Fish and poultry without the skin are excellent choices because they have less saturated fat than red meat. Just remember to cook them in healthful ways—broiling, baking and poaching—and avoid high-fat sauces and gravies. Fatty fish like salmon, trout and herring are very healthy because they have good fats, called omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat fish at least twice a week.
  • Beans
    4. Legumes
    Beans, peas and lentils are legumes. These plant-based foods are good sources of low-fat protein. You'll find the widest array of choices among beans, but there are also many varieties of lentils and peas. You can use them in place of meat in main dishes, such as vegetarian chili. You can also consume them as side dishes or as a topping for salads. Like whole grains, legumes are rich in fiber, which helps fill you up and reduce your risk for heart disease.
  • bottles of olive oil
    5. Heart-Healthy Oils
    Not all fats are bad for your heart. Vegetable-based oils, including canola, olive, peanut and sesame oils, are healthy fats. But limit tropical oils such as coconut and palm oils. They're plant-based, but contain saturated fat. Also avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils or trans fats. These are solid forms of otherwise healthy oils. They extend a food's shelf life, so you’ll likely find them in packaged items. Check labels, and choose food and oils with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • handful of almonds
    6. Nuts
    Nuts are a heart healthy snack. Many have the same omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. They also have some protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nuts are a great take-anywhere snack, but they do pack a lot of calories. Limit servings to one handful—about an ounce and a half—per day. Some of the healthiest choices are walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts and pistachios. You can also enjoy them as nut butters on slices of fruit or a piece of whole-wheat bread.
Healthy Foods to Eat After Angioplasty
  1. Antioxidants in Fruits and Vegetables. American Heart Association.
  2. Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. American Heart Association.
  3. Fresh, Frozen or Canned fruits and Vegetables: All Can Be Healthy Choices. American Heart Association.
  4. Go Nuts! American Heart Association.
  5. Healing Foods Pyramid. University of Michigan Health System.
  6. Healthy Cooking Oils 101. American Heart Association.
  7. Know Your Fats. American Heart Association.
  8. Life After Angioplasty. Society for Cardiovascular Angioplasty and Interventions.
  9. Meat, Poultry, and Fish. American Heart Association. 
  10. Protein and Heart Health. American Heart Association.
  11. Saturated Fats. American Heart Association.
  12. What Is Coronary Angioplasty? American Heart Association.
  13. Whole Grains and Fiber. American Heart Association.
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Last Review Date: 2021 Dec 13
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.