Cardiac rehab patients learn how to eat heart healthy

Cardiac rehab patients learn how to eat heart healthy

Judith, a participant in Botsford's cardiac rehab program, chooses from the breakfast bar while program manager Donna Binns-Gordon, RN, BSN, MS helps out with heart-healthy eating tips.

Eating healthfully is good for your heart.  So much so, that Botsford’s cardiac rehabilitation team today treated their program participants to an oatmeal and yogurt breakfast bar with plenty of fixings like fresh fruit, granola and low fat milk.

The cardiac rehab team says they’re doing it to demonstrate healthy eating practices to participants, who are all recovering from a cardiac event such as a heart attack, stent placement or even open heart surgery.  Because of their recent cardiac event, the participants need to change their diet.

But there’s really more to it than that.  “We wanted to give something back to [our patients] because they’re such nice people and we get so attached to them,” said Donna Binns-Gordon, the rehabilitation program’s manager, registered nurse and exercise physiologist.  Donna’s team and several cardiology practices at Botsford chipped in to host special educational events for the cardiac rehab patients throughout February, which is American Heart Month.  Other events include a smoothie day and a heart healthy recipe exchange.  The groups also purchased a stereo for the workout area.

The goal of Botsford’s cardiac rehabilitation program is to get participants back to where they were before their cardiac event — improving their endurance and strength — and to help them make positive lifestyle changes.  Lifestyle changes such as eating right and getting exercise are vital to recovery from a cardiac event.

Nurses, exercise physiologists and even dietitians are involved in giving participants hands-on education.  They monitor workouts and review the weekly food diaries kept by the participants.  A one-on-one review of a food diary gives the participant customized suggestions to improve their eating habits and helps them understand how food can improve their lifestyle and recovery process.

As a result, cardiac rehabilitation participants learn how to eat healthfully as part of a new routine, rather than just having to endure another “you have to eat better” lecture from a doctor.  Oatmeal and yogurt were chosen for the breakfast bar to demonstrate how you can incorporate protein, fruit and carbohydrates into a balanced meal that will promote heart health, energy and strength.

For more information

For more information about heart care at Botsford, search for a Farmington Hills area cardiologist or call 1-877-DOC 1 (1-877-3621) Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more general information about cardiology services at Botsford or heart health articles, visit Cardiology services on our website.

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