Cardiac rehabilitation (patient information)
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. ; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. 
A cardiac rehabilitation program may help you with:
- Understanding risk factors for heart disease and how to reduce them
- Improving the ability to cope with stress (anger management)
- Lowering blood pressure
- Understanding mechanism, effects and side effects of medications and possible drug interactions.
- Strengthening the heart and cardiovascular system
- Gaining a great sense of well-being and self confidence
- Improving daily physical activity
What to eat at the restaurant?
- Ask about low-fat or fat-free choices.
- Ask the server to make substitutions like steamed vegetables instead of French fries.
- Use the basic guidelines of your healthy eating plan when choosing a main dish. Pick lean meat, fish or skinless chicken.
- Make sure your entrée is broiled, baked, grilled, steamed or poached instead of fried.
- Order vegetable side dishes and ask that any sauces or butter be left off.
- Ask for low-calorie salad dressing or a lemon to squeeze on your salad instead of dressing.
- Ask for baked, boiled or roasted potatoes instead of fried. And ask for them without the butter and sour cream.
- Order fresh fruit or fruit sorbet in place of cake, pie or ice cream.
- When it seems that everything on the menu is “off limits,” ask if the chef will make you a fruit or vegetable platter. Most chefs are happy to do so.
What to avoid at the restaurant?
- Push the butter out of your way or ask that it be removed. Ask for soft margarine instead.
- Order your dressings and sauces on the side so you can control how much you use.
- Stay away from fried appetizers and creamy soups. Begin your meal with broth-based soup like minestrone or gazpacho.
- At salad bars, stay away from high-fat items like cheese, cream dressings, chopped eggs, croutons, olives and bacon bits.
- Ask that your food be made without butter or cream sauces. You’ll be surprised at how delicious meat, fish and chicken can be when broiled “dry.”
- Take the skin off poultry when it arrives, and remove visible fat from meat.