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Congenital Heart Disease Food: The Best And Worst

Medically reviewed by Lauren Labrador, MD, FPCP, DPCC · Cardiology

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Sep 02, 2022

    Congenital Heart Disease Food: The Best And Worst

    Congenital heart disease is a collective term for a range of conditions present at birth that affects the way the heart functions.  Besides treating the specific defect, it’s also important to keep the heart healthy through foods. Learn more about it here.

    Congenital heart disease food: What to include

    According to reports, the diet for a person with congenital heart disease is similar to that of a person with no CHD. Only, forming and maintaining the diet becomes even more important[1]. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

    • Consume fruit and vegetables instead of too much juice.
    • Replace butter and the majority of animal fats with vegetable oils that are low in trans fatty acids and saturated fat.
    • Choose whole-grain bread and cereals over those made with refined grains.
    • Limit your intake of foods and beverages with added sugar.
    • Use milk that is nonfat or low-fat (1%).
    • Increase your fish intake
    • Consume only lean meats and meat products with decreased fat
    • Remove skin from chicken when cooking.
    • Limit your salt intake.
    • Discuss the importance of a balanced diet, portion control, and the calorie count of snacks.
    • Eat at home more often and try to avoid eating out.

    Congenital heart disease food considerations for kids/ babies

    What is included in the diet for kids and babies? As with adults, children with heart disease should consume a balanced, healthy diet and reduce cholesterol. Babies born with congenital heart disease may have particular dietary considerations, such as the need for extra calories and various strategies to get food into the stomach.

    Individuals should have five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Choose whole grains — whole grain pasta and bread, brown rice instead of white. Buy only cereal with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving (and little or no added sugar). Include beans with meals.

    Which fruit is best for the heart?

    Berries are chockfull of heart-healthy phytonutrients and soluble fiber. Try blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries in cereal or yogurt. Also, seeds are great additions to your diet. Flaxseeds, in particular, contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytoestogens to boost heart health.

    Which beverage is best for the heart?

    Plain water is best to drink for overall health, and that includes your heart.


    If you have congenital heart disease and are an adult, consult your doctor to determine whether it is safe for you to consume alcohol in moderation. Alcohol use can raise blood pressure and cause abnormal heart rhythms, and it can also interact negatively with some common heart medications like warfarin.

    It’s important to remember that anyone who has had a Fontan procedure should avoid alcohol. If you are the parent of a teen with congenital heart disease, talk with your child about alcohol and recreational drug use to prevent any untoward effects. 

    Key Takeaways

    When it comes to your diet and choosing the best congenital heart disease food options for yourself or your loved ones, always consult your doctor and nutritionist. Any changes in diet will have a direct and significant impact on your body.

    Learn more about Congenital Heart Disease here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Lauren Labrador, MD, FPCP, DPCC


    Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Sep 02, 2022

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