Heart Transplant Diet?

For those of you who had a heart transplant- does your doctor tell you to stay away from certain foods?

Can you eat all of the foods that you were suppose to stay away from prior to transplant?

I would imagine that if you receive a heart transplant eating healthier will help your overall health.

What has been your experience?

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  • Not allowed to have grapefruit as it interferes with immunosuppresants. Still tell us to stay on low fat low sodium. Everything in moderation. I was told absolutely NO salad bars.....breeding ground of germs! Healthy eating should just be a way of life for anyone.


  • My doctors told me just to use common sense. I eat pretty much whatever I want, in moderation of course. And if I have a "cheat" day, I make up for it by making more healthy choices at the next. I do avoid grapefruits for the most part, but on occasion, I may have one. But that's rare. 

    ETA: I don't avoid salt, but I do try to make a conscious effort to not over use it.

  • I recived a heart & liver transplant. In 2012 my doctors oh course. Said heart healthy and raw foods as well. As grape fruit which is for all transplants I beilve. Due. To the fact it rejects a medication. Hope all. Is well. In the recovery oh our new. Heart.!
  • It is VERY important to follow the diet recommended by your transplant team. I caregive for a heart transplant recipient. It's a great heart - the most important thing! To keep it healthy for years to come, my friend needs to stay on a low fat, low cholesterol diet.

    Why? One big reason is that our bodies have certain "housekeeping" they do on our organs. When I eat fatty foods, it's not a great choice, and over time it can cause problems for me. But my body is able to clean out some of the gunk and keep me healthy. With a heart transplant, there's less the recipient's body can do to clear things out. So over time organ recipients tend to develop coronary disease pretty easily.

    My friend was a little upset to learn this during the transplant process. He thought it would mean non-stop calorie counting and massive food restrictions. But in reality, what it has really meant is that we are preparing foods that would be appropriate for anyone in their 30's who knew they had a history of heart disease in their family. If you receive a new heart, you should eat like someone whose parents have high cholesterol or blood pressure or other issues.

    The good News for us is that we live in California, so it's not like there's a shortage of healthy foods. And we didn't really eat chicken fried steak with cream gravy before the transplant, ha. (My dad ate it every day and had a massive heart attack at 52 and now lives with 25% heart function, so we avoid plates of grease.)
    • I was told to do the low fat, low sodium diet which I've pretty much been on for the past 30+ years. We are not allowed grapefruit as it interferes with immunosuppressant absorption. I still have issues with fluid retention since I went into rejection at 3 years out so I'm on diuretics again and have to watch my fluid intake. That's more of a pain to me than anything with my diet. In the New Year I am going to be trying to decrease my carb intake as they seem to make me feel bloated all the time. Wish me luck!!!!

  • After heart transplant, it is important to follow the doctors prescribed instructions. You may need to adjust your eating habit to keep your heart healthy and functioning well. You should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, whole-grain breads, cereals and other grains, drink low-fat milk,  maintain low-salt and low-fat diet.

  • can eat what ever i want,so far ,pizza ice cream,i lost about 25 pounds,i dont now whats in the future,but i try to eat health

  • I have not been told anything other than the standards, grapefruit, raw foods, etc. I do eat seasonally, so my diet changes through the seasons. I also am primarily a vegetarian, sometimes vegan spells thrown in during the course of the year. I have been eating like this since shortly after my transplant which is three and a half years. I also had periods prior to my transplant that I was very plant based with my diet. Other than that I avoid processed food which mostly contain GMO's and each as much fresh foods from local farmers as possible. I also avoid dairy except for the dead of winter when I get cravings for cheese. So far all my labs have been good since my transplant.

    • Keep on going strong Brian. WOW! I am impressed.  I am sure the doctors did not have to tell you to eat healthy.

  •  My tx cntr  harps on eating healthy, my home town cardio. Doc is in favor more of the non fatty foods and low sodium,  but he realizes that everyone cheats once in awhile and I think he is ok with the occasional cheat then the practice of eating FRIED foods as a regular diet ..  Am not sure i have ever heard a Cardio doc say you have new heart go ahead and eat what you want ..  thats just my expriences thou

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