Implementing Progressive “Reversal” Cardiac Diets in a Hospital Setting: Success Story at Mother Frances Hospital, Tyler, Texas

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Our goal was to establish and implement a more effective hospital cardiac diet, while maintaining good patient acceptance. When this effort began the cardiac diet contained less than 30% fat, 300 mg of cholesterol and 4,000 mg of sodium/day.


The new cardiac dietary guidelines approved were less than 25% fat, 200 mg of cholesterol and 3,300 mg of sodium/day. Patient interviews and written meal service evaluations were used to assess patient acceptance, regarding tast, appearance, temperature and variety of food served. Accuracy was assessed via test trays, which were evaluated for portion size accuracy and correct item on the tray.


Manual calculations of the highest fat day revealed 19% fat, 4.4% calories from saturated fat, 153 mg cholesterol and 2,009 mg of sodium on the 1,800 calorie house cardiac diet. The overall findings show that 94% of the patients found the new cardiac diet “great,” “good” or “fair,” which increased to 100% within 5 months of quality assurance intervention.


This project demonstrates that cardiac diets with less than 20% fat can be successfully implemented, with good patient acceptance, in a population traditionally consuming very high fat intakes.

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