My husband had a heart attack on Monday and angioplasty surgery Tuesday morning.


My husband just had a heart attack on Monday and had angioplasty surgery Tuesday morning. I brought him home and cannot find an appropriate diet for him based on the information on his discharge papers.

It says no iceberg lettuce and no broccoli and just about everything I thought that you could eat isn’t right. Could you please advise as I can’t get any doctors to answer what to do until this Monday and I don’t want to give him anything that will hurt him. He is 46 years old had a complete blockage of the artery on the right side of his heart. He has 2 stents in there also to hold the artery open. He has been a truck driver for 25 years and is currently on blood thinners so they said he can’t have anything that adds more Vitamin K to his system. I really hope you get this quickly as I really am scared of what I can do to help him recover.

Since I do not have access to your husband’s medical chart, I would recommend you only offer the foods listed on his discharge papers. Then on Monday, call his doctor and ask to talk to a registered dietitian who can help you with his nutrition therapy and meal planning.

Your husband is on blood thinners to prevent a blood clot from forming because he had surgery to repair the blood vessels that surround his heart. Your body forms blood clots in wounds or surgical incisions to encourage healing. Unfortunately, blood clots inside blood vessels are not wanted even during healing. Clots that form could break off and flow to smaller blood vessels where they could block off an artery (heart attack). The blood thinners he is on should increase the amount of time it takes for his blood to clot and therefore reduce the chances of blood clots forming.

The reason he can’t have broccoli or iceberg lettuce is that these foods are high in vitamin K which aids blood clotting or shortens the amount of time it takes for blood to clot. Have you read my vitamin K topic? There is a table of foods to avoid because they are high in Vitamin K (avoid foods greater than a person’s RDA for Vitamin K) and info on warfarin (blood thinner). Your husband’s RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) is 120 micrograms vitamin K (males 19 to 70+ years of age) per day. Ask his doctor how much vitamin K he wants him to have.

For the weekend, plan regular meals that you both are used to eating at home, but omit any foods that are not allowed on his discharge papers. To further guide you, only choose foods that are listed as containing less than 10 mcg of Vitamin K from the table in my Vitamin K topic.

It would have helped for you both to see a registered dietitian in the hospital before discharge. Tell your doctor how scared you were because you didn’t understand your husband’s nutrition therapy. Perhaps the next patient will receive nutrition therapy instructions from a dietitian before discharge.

Your husband should also be on a low saturated fat, no trans fat nutrition therapy to help prevent future narrowed arteries due to cholesterol deposits. Ask his doctor if he needs to limit fats.