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After surgery, the blood flow to your heart is better, but new blockages can still form. You need to take steps to prevent this. By committing yourself to managing your risk factors for coronary artery disease, commonly called heart disease, you can help keep new blockages from forming. This will lower your changes of needing another bypass surgery.
To manage heart disease, you must control as many risk factors as you can. Work with your health care provider to identify your risk factors and to get them under control.
Your health care provider will work with you to modify lifestyle factors as needed to help prevent profression of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), which may be the cause of your chest pain (angina). Factors you may need to work on include:
Your health care provider will give you information on dietary changes that you may need to make, based on your situation. Your provider may recommend that you see a registered dietitian for help with diet changes. Changes may include:
Reducing fat and cholesterol intake
Reducing sodium (salt) intake, especially if you have high blood pressure
Increasing your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits
Eating lean proteins, such as fish, poultry, and legumes (beans and peas) and eating less red meat and processed meats
Using low-fat dairy products
Using vegetable and nut oils in limited amounts
Limiting sweets and processed foods such as chips, cookies, and baked goods
Your health care provider may recommend that you increase your physical activity if you have not been as active as possible. Depending on your situation, your provider may recommend that you include moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity for at least 40 minutes each day for at least 3 to 4 days per week. A few examples of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity include:
Walking at a brisk pace, about 3 to 4 miles per hour
Jogging or running
Swimming or water aerobics
Riding a bike or stationary bike
If you are overweight or obese, your health care provider will work with you to lose weight and lower your body mass index (BMI) to a normal or near-normal level. Making diet changes and increasing physical activity can help.
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