What Not to Eat After a Coronary Bypass Surgery

What Not to Eat After a Coronary Bypass Surgery 

In order to help your body heal and reduce any risk of complications that might interrupt your healing, a healthy diet is a must after a CABG surgery. This diet requires that your body is provided all that it needs in order to protect the heart — which, according to the St. Vincent’s Hospital for Heart Health, includes vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber 

But, what should you not eat after a Coronary Bypass Surgery? Well… 

Generally, patients who have undergone a CABG Surgery are recommended to avoid sodium-rich foods, fatty foods, and alcohol. Continue reading to learn why. 

Avoid Excessive Sodium-Intake 

Salt is delicious, but there is such a thing as too much salt. According to Harvard Health, excessive sodium-intake can cause high blood pressure — which increases the risk of developing heart failure. It can also potentially cause major complications to those with existing heart issues (i.e. those who have just recently undergone CABG surgery.) 

That is why it is important that you avoid sodium-rich foods. If that means eating home more often and avoiding pre-packaged meals, then that is what you’ll have to do. If only to make sure that you are staying at your healthiest. 

Eat the Right Kind of Fats 

You should also try to avoid trans fats and saturated fats as these are known to exacerbate atherosclerosis (narrowed arteries that can potentially cut off the heart’s supply of blood) and increase the risk for both high cholesterol and high blood pressure — which again, has been known to increase the risk of heart failures. 

Fatty foods, much like sodium-rich foods, are difficult to avoid. It means passing on baked goods and fried foods. It also means avoiding fatty meats and certain dairy products.  

To speak broadly, you’ll have to make a conscious decision to avoid the types of fats that are bad for you and stick to the ‘good’ fats, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (found most commonly in foods like avocado or certain nuts.) 

Do Not Drink Alcohol 

A lesser-known effect of alcohol is that it can potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular issues called cardiomyopathy — which can lead to diseases of the heart and result in complications post-CABG surgery. Just like the other two items we’ve introduced, it’s also known to raise blood pressure, which only makes it doubly prohibited for CABG patients. 

Conclusion: What Not to Eat After a Coronary Bypass Surgery? 

Just like with most surgeries, extra care must be taken in order to ensure that you do not complicate your health after a Coronary Bypass Surgery. That means paying attention to what you’re eating to get better, but it also means paying attention to what you shouldn’t be eating so that you don’t get worse! 


  1. St Vincent’s Heart Health. “St Vincent’s Heart Health.” St Vincent’s Hospital Heart Health, St Vincent’s Heart Health, https://www.svhhearthealth.com.au/rehabilitation/after-cardiac-bypass-surgery
  2. Januzzi, James. “Heart Failure and Salt: The Great Debate.” Harvard Health Blog, 5 Dec. 2018, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/heart-failure-and-salt-the-great-debate-2018121815563