What do you do after a heart attack? Cardiac rehabilitation is the recommended treatment, and the good news is that following a plant-based diet during rehab leads to a better outcome.
OK, so what is cardiac rehab? Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed with the goal of halting or reversing the progression of cardiovascular disease and improving outcomes. It can be an essential component of care for patients with coronary artery disease. Several studies have shown that participation in CR after a heart attack, getting a stent, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, significantly reduces the disease, risk of dying, and hospital readmission rates in a cost‐effective manner.
Core components include: (1) patient assessment, (2) nutritional counseling, (3) weight management, (4) blood pressure management, (5) cholesterol management, (6) diabetes management, (7) tobacco cessation, (8) stress management, (9) physical activity counseling, and (10) exercise training.
So how does a veg diet help? Studies show that people treated with a plant-based diet showed significantly better improvements in weight management, blood pressure management, cholesterol management and diabetes management than those on a standard American diet. They also reduced their emotional stress and experienced better quality of life. Depression can commonly follow a heart attack. 80% of people who followed a plant-based diet as part of their rehab showed a reduction in their depression.
In this age of tight budgets, it’s important to know that one study showed that for every dollar spent on rehab with a plant-based diet, $5.55 in medical expenses were saved.
We’ve written before on how a plant-based diet can effectively treat obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It gets even better. While you’re improving your cardiovascular health, a plant-based diet can also reduce your risk of other diseases such as prostate and colon cancer.
Following a plant-based diet as part of a cardiac rehabilitation program is a wise strategy which will improve outcomes, lower the risk of recurrence, and lower the costs of treatment.
This article is for informational purposes only. Any changes or treatments must be made with your physician. Show our professional level article on preventing and treating heart disease with a plant-based diet to your physician.