Integrative Heart Health: The Ideal 7-Day Meal Plan Before Heart Surgery

Healthy Living Nutrition

Having heart surgery is a big deal. So, before the procedure, it’s important to take initiative in changing your diet and losing weight beforehand to minimize risk of complications and promote recovery. One way is the 7-day heart surgery diet. It is said that the Sacred Heart Diet was developed by the cardiology department at the Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital for these exact reasons, though the hospital denies this claim.

The Sacred Heart Diet Promise

Known as an ‘eat your fill’ diet that requires downing a lot of vegetable soup, the Sacred Heart diet is a jumpstart weight-loss meal plan promising 10-17 pounds dropped in just one week, making it a popular option for overweight people preparing for heart surgery.

We outlined and discussed the soup-centric diet with saludmóvil’s™ integrative medicine expert, Dr. Joseph Mosquera, listing benefits, drawbacks, and alternatives to the popular meal plan.

“The Sacred Heart diet definitely isn’t the only diet to try before heart surgery, but it definitely has benefits,” says Dr. Mosquera.

The Heart Surgery Diet: A Breakdown of The 7-Day Meal Plan

The Sacred Heart diet involves a lot of low calorie soup, vegetables, fruits, and binging on beef during the course of a week.

The most popular ‘Sacred Heart soup’ recipe, which serves as the primary staple of the 7-day diet, has stewed tomatoes, onions, beef broth, celery, green beans, chicken noodle soup mix, carrots, and green peppers.

Day 1:

Eat only soup and fruit (Except bananas). No vegetables outside the soup. Nothing else.

Day 2:

Eat only vegetables and soup. Fresh, raw, cooked, or canned vegetables. Have a baked potato with butter at dinner along with your soup. No fruit today. Nothing else.

Day 3:

Eat soup, vegetables, and fruit. As much as you want. (Except no baked potato) Nothing else.

Day 4:

Eat soup, 3 bananas, and drink as much skim milk as you can. No other fruits and vegetables. Nothing else.

Day 5:

Have 10-20 ounces of beef, 6 tomatoes (or 1 can), and soup at least once today.  Nothing else.

Day 6:

Eat as much beef, vegetables as you can today. Have soup at least once. Nothing else.

Day 7:

Eat rice, vegetables, and soup all day until full. Also have unsweetened fruit juice to drink. Nothing else.

“There are no fried foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks, or bread allowed, so you may end up eating healthier adhering to this diet than you normally would,” says Dr. Mosquera. “But if you have heart disease or high cholesterol, it’s not good to have all you can eat red meat.”

It’s considered a sound diet plan for overweight heart surgery patients who need to lose weight quick before their procedure, but keep in mind The American Heart Association and the Sacred Heart Medical Center don’t claim any connection to the diet.

 Another option: The Mayo Clinic Heart Diet

The Mayo Clinic has released a diet designed to help cardiac surgery patients lose weight in a healthy manner that emphasizes lifetime health.

“The Mayo Clinic has a long term meal plan that is, in my opinion, a better choice of dieting before heart surgery,” says Dr.Mosquera. “It’s all about moderation. Not deprivation. Which is key.”

You can lose 6 to 10 pounds in two weeks the healthy way, and keep it off.  You can sign-up to create a free diet profile with the Mayo Clinic today.

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