“Is a whole food or organic diet helpful for patients with Atrial Fibrillation? Is there any research recommending one or the other?”
Many health experts believe that eating more whole foods is our best bet for improving health and preventing disease. Numerous studies have found that a diet high in healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes (also closely associated with Atrial Fibrillation).
A Whole-Food Organic Diet
In an editorial in the ‘Naturopathic Doctor News & Review’, naturopathic doctor Dan Carter writes about treatment for Atrial Fibrillation. He states that a whole-food organic diet (as much as is possible and practical) is preferred for A-Fib patients. Dr. Carter suggests:
• Eat a sufficient amount of complete protein (½ g of protein per 1 lb of body weight). Include meats, eggs, and low-mercury seafood (cold-water fish, such as salmon, is especially beneficial). Raw dairy is recommended for those who tolerate it; whey protein is useful for smoothies.
• Eat lots of raw and cooked vegetables and salad greens.
• Choose as carbohydrate sources sweet potatoes, yams, white potatoes, and white rice. Unless the patient is an athlete, the daily intake should be limited to 150 g.
• Cook foods with chemically stable oils, such as coconut (best), butter, and palm kernel, and use olive oil on salads and foods after cooking.
• Avoid simple sugars and seed-derived edible oils (soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, and canola).
Are Whole Food and Organic Foods the Same?
The terms whole food and organic food are often confused. But whole foods are not necessarily organic, nor are organic foods necessarily whole.
Whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible.
Organic foods come from animals free of antibiotics and growth hormones; fruits and vegetables are free of pesticides, ionizing radiation and bioengineering.
Keep in mind, research has not found a diet that will cure your A-Fib. The best you can do is eat a heart healthy diet, limit alcoholic drinks, don’t smoke. Be active and exercise. And control the 4 lifestyle factors associated with A-Fib: high-blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and obesity.
Last updated: Saturday, February 11, 2017
Return to FAQ Natural Therapies
7. “Is there a diet I could follow which would cure my A-Fib?”
No. Right now, we don’t know of any diet to “cure” your A-Fib. But you may be able to reduce or improve your A-Fib symptoms.
Start with a ‘heart healthy’ diet (and healthy lifestyle). There are lots of on-line resources and books about eating healthy for your heart. The U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends the “DASH” eating plan which reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Also see our FAQ answer to: “Is a whole food or organic diet helpful for patients with Atrial Fibrillation?
Learn Your Triggers
For some A-Fib patients, a food or beverage seems to cause or trigger their A-Fib. Heavy consumption of alcohol may trigger A-Fib. Some report that caffeine in coffee is a trigger. You may want to try eliminating other stimulants (tea, chocolate, tobacco, MSG, sodas) and see if that helps your condition. A recent study from England suggests that eggs and poultry meat may cause or trigger A-Fib.
It’s likely you’ll receive little nutritional advice from your doctor or cardiologist.
Keep a Food Log
Try keeping a diary of what you eat and drink. If you drink coffee for example, try not drinking any for one or two weeks. (Some patients claim to have been helped by eliminating all dairy products from their diet.)
Last updated: Monday, February 13, 2017