Many members on MyHeartDiseaseTeam find themselves relearning to eat and cook after being diagnosed with a heart problem or experiencing a cardiac event. Changing food habits can be difficult, but many members find ways to continue to enjoy food while taking care of their cardiovascular health.
One member who works as a professional chef has wistful feelings when preparing food that is outside his new diet recommendations, writing, “I must say I miss eating all that rich food I make for others.” A struggling home-cook asked others to share their favorite healthy recipes. “I just find it hard sometimes to be creative and eat for heart trouble,” she wrote.
Some members find it easier to adopt heart-healthy cooking habits. “I have educated myself on a low saturated fat diet and have altered many of my recipes to reflect that,” a wife of a man with heart disease wrote.
Many MyHeartDiseaseTeam members report adjusting their cooking techniques now that high-fat methods deep-frying are off-limits in their households. “I try to grill most of the food I cook,” one member commented. Another opted for a new appliance to replace frying: “I now use an air fryer, so oil is hardly used in my house.” Other members recommend the Instant Pot for easy, heart-healthy cooking.
Another major change for members is setting aside the salt shaker. Reducing sodium intake is important for managing blood pressure, especially for those diagnosed with heart failure. One member explained how she’s made the adjustment, “I read labels and use basically the same recipes, only I leave out the salt. Anybody that can eat salt has to salt it at the table. I never pick up the salt shaker and I really don't miss it anymore!!”
Members encourage each other to stick with their diet and cooking changes and recommend resources for new recipes like Youtube, Pinterest, and other websites. Some members are able to turn diet changes into a fun learning experience. “I have lots of great recipes that I found on the Internet,” a member wrote. “It is fun to experiment.”
On MyHeartDiseaseTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with heart disease, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Cooking is one of the most discussed topics.
Here are some conversations about cooking:
Can you relate? Have you changed your cooking style or gotten back in the kitchen after being diagnosed with heart disease? Share your experiences in the comments below or on MyHeartDiseaseTeam.