Diet and nutrition

After your heart transplant, you may need to adjust your diet to keep your heart healthy and functioning well. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help you avoid complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

Your Mayo Clinic transplant team includes a nutrition specialist (dietitian) who can discuss your nutrition and diet needs and answer any questions you have after your transplant.

Your Mayo Clinic dietitian will provide you with several healthy food options and ideas to use in your eating plan. Your dietitian’s recommendations may include:

  • Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Eating whole-grain breads, cereals and other grains
  • Drinking low-fat or fat-free milk or eating other low-fat or fat-free dairy products, to help maintain enough calcium in your body
  • Eating lean meats, such as fish or poultry
  • Maintaining a low-salt diet
  • Avoiding unhealthy fats, such as saturated fats or trans fats
  • Avoiding grapefruit and grapefruit juice due to its effect on a group of immunosuppressant medications (calcineurin inhibitors)
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol
  • Staying hydrated by drinking adequate water and other fluids each day
  • Following food safety guidelines to reduce the risk of infection