Congenital heart disease is a type of defect or malformation in one or more structures of the heart or blood vessels that occurs before birth.

The most common congenital heart problems include heart valve defects, defects in the walls between the atria and ventricles of the heart, and heart muscle abnormalities that can lead to heart failure.

Congenital heart defects may produce symptoms at birth, during childhood, and sometimes not until adulthood.

It is possible to have a defect and no symptoms at all.

In adults, if symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Limited ability to exercise.

Risk Factors

  • Genetic or chromosomal abnormalities in the child such as Down syndrome.
  • Taking certain medications or alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy.
  • Maternal viral infection, such as rubella (German measles) in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Also Read: Ischemic Heart Disease – Aiding Treatment With Lifestyle And Diet Modifications

The effects of the condition continue throughout a patient’s lifetime. Diet, careful monitoring and appropriate treatment are important to keep the heart strong and healthy.

Nutritional Management Of Cogenital Heart Disease

  • Limit the intake of saturated fats and cholesterol-rich foods that can cause plaque to build up in the arteries. Instead try for some healthier alternatives like fresh vegetables, grilled chicken and fish. Choose low-fat dairy foods or soy products in place of processes cheese and whole milk.
  • Include foods with high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower cholesterol levels and keep the cardiovascular system functioning at its best.
  • Limit the sodium intake. High blood pressure or hypertension, are directly affected by the amount of sodium you include in your diet. Avoid foods that are highly processed. You can avoid using large amounts of sodium during cooking by choosing herbs and spices that add extra flavor to your dishes.
  • Also try limiting the use of sugar and sweetened foods. Instead try some fresh fruit smoothies. Fresh fruits and vegetables provide nutrients that keep the heart healthy.
  • Soy products contain usable plant proteins that replace the ones found in red meats and dairy foods. Beans and peanuts also provide abundant amounts of plant proteins.


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