Question

I've been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Should I make changes to my diet?

Answer

Making healthy diet changes can help you improve your heart health and live a healthy lifestyle if you have a heart condition such as atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder.

Aim to eat a heart-healthy diet, including:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy products
  • Proteins such as lean meats, nuts, seeds and beans
  • Foods low in salt, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat

In addition, your doctor may recommend that you limit or avoid alcohol if you have atrial fibrillation, as alcohol can cause health issues in some people.

If you have diabetes, it's important to control your blood sugar levels.

You may need to avoid certain foods if you're taking certain medications to prevent blood clots. For example, if you're taking warfarin — a blood-thinning medication — your doctor will recommend that you avoid eating large amounts of leafy green vegetables. These vegetables have vitamin K in them, which can interfere with the effects of your medication.

Discuss with your doctor any questions you may have about your diet.

Also, your doctor will likely recommend other healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, getting regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control.

Last Updated: 07-16-2019
FAQ-20118479
content provided by mayoclinic.com
© 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.