Diets for Heart Patients to Lose Weight Fast

by Candace Webb
Some diets work quickly and are heart safe.

Some diets work quickly and are heart safe.

Having a heart problem can be scary. Being overweight with a heart problem can kick that fear into high gear and make you want to shave the excess pounds off as quickly as possible. Before you begin a diet aimed at losing weight fast, you should examine several options to be sure you choose the one that is right for you.

Mayo Clinic Diet

The Mayo Clinic developed its own diet to stop the spread of diets who were claiming to be affiliated with the Clinic but that were not. The grapefruit diet, bacon diet and others are not associated with the Mayo Clinic, but for years have advertised its name. The true Mayo Clinic diet is based on healthy eating, balanced meals and plenty of exercise. The diet is divided into two phases. The first phase is supposed to produce immediate results with an average weight loss of 6 to 10 lbs. in the first two weeks. It is highly restrictive and meant to help you break bad eating habits of the past as you move into phase 2.
In phase 2, you should lose 1 to 2 lbs. a week, according to the Mayo Clinic. The diet focuses not only on eating a balanced diet from the nutrition food pyramid, but also on figuring out what motivates you and what can help you maintain healthy eating habits for life by using that motivator. The diet initially lets you eat large quantities of foods on the food pyramid that have little caloric value but will help you remain full. As the diet progresses, you will cut down the amount of food you are eating from each pyramid area. The pyramid encourages eating whole grains, monounsaturated fats and low-fat dairy and protein foods. The diet also encourages 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day and sets the barometer of success at working up a light sweat and increasing your heart rate and breathing while doing it. Yard work and sustained brisk walking are examples of such exercise given by the Mayo Clinic.

South Beach

South Beach diet was invented by cardiologist Arthur Agaston, M.D., and encourages rapid weight loss while, at the same time, maintains healthy nutritional intake. According to Agaston and the South Beach website, the diet is founded on the belief that foods with high glycemic value are more difficult for the body to process, therefore encourage weight gain. The diet is broken into three phases. The first phase cuts out everything except lean proteins and low carb vegetables. The second phase introduces carbs back through whole grain breads and pastas, as well as some fruits and vegetables. For example, instead of eating white rice and mashed potatoes, you will eat brown rice and sweet potatoes. The South Beach website provides many pages of recipes based in the low-glycemic food concept.
The third phase is used for lifetime maintenance. If you begin to gain weight, you simply jump back on phase I or II until you shed the pounds.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is recommended as a heart healthy diet by the Mayo Clinic. It is based in foods healthy for your cardiovascular system. The diet basics include eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean fish, while eliminating unhealthy fats, such as red meat and saturated oils.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a research study conducted in the United States in 2007 reported that the Mediterranean diet reduced its participants' risk of heart disease and certain cancers. The diet encourages you to eat generous quantities of vegetables and fruits. It also suggests that you use olive and canola oil in all your cooking as well as any recipe calling for oils. The diet encourages you to eat fish or shellfish at least two times a week, snack on small amounts of nuts during the day and have an occasional glass of red wine. If you don't drink wine, purple grape juice can be used as a substitute.

About the Author

Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.

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