If you have recently had open heart surgery, then there are several steps to your recovery. One of these steps likely involves speaking with a professional called a nurse health coach. This person will help you to understand some of the long-term changes that you need to make. Some of these changes involve your diet. Keep reading to understand a few things that you coach may talk to you about immediately after your operation.

Increasing Fiber Intake

Many individuals will become constipated after open heart surgery, and you may be prescribed a stool softener. While this can help, you may be on a regimen of iron for some time. Iron supplements assist with anemia that is associated with blood loss and heart disease. The iron can also assist with cardiopulmonary function since the nutrients help the body create hemoglobin that transports oxygen through the blood. However, iron supplements can cause constipation. 

If your nurse sees that you are on iron and are having trouble with bowel movements, he or she may suggest adding a few foods to the diet. High fiber foods like lentils, peas, lima beans, and black beans may be added to your nutrition plan. As iron supplements are reduced, the foods may remain as part of your diet, since fiber can reduce body inflammation and control blood pressure. 

Reduced Fat

As your nurse health coach continues to look over your medication, he or she may notice a beta-blocker. This medication helps to prevent heart attacks by keeping your heart rhythm even and controlled. Some of these medicines also increase the amount of fat that is carried through the cardiovascular system. The fat can then collect in your arteries and cause a blockage that results in coronary heart disease or the need for a bypass operation. 

To keep you healthy, you will need to reduce saturated fat. This can be hard for some people, but your coach may help you to choose food options that contain unsaturated fats instead of saturated ones. For example, you may be urged to cook with olive oil instead of butter. Your specific diet can be looked over so that appropriate alternative can be found for you.

Also, you may hear about some high cholesterol foods to avoid. Cholesterol is a type of fat that sticks to the insides of the blood vessels much like saturated fat. Foods that are high in cholesterol include fatty meats, cheeses, ice cream, shrimp, and sweet treats.