Eating healthily

Eating well has many benefits, including keeping a healthy weight, and helping your heart to function at its best. It can help to manage and reduce the impact of cardiomyopathy.

A diet of fatty foods and high sugar can increase your risk of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Eat Well Guide


You can read more about healthy eating from NHS Choices here

Before making any big changes to your lifestyle, we recommend that you talk to your cardiologist or GP.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid. There are three types, called EPA, DHA and ALA. They are found in some fish (such as mackerel and salmon), as well as nuts (such as pecans and walnuts) and seeds (such as linseeds). Omega 3 is essential for your body as it helps the heart and brain to function.


Salt is used to control fluid balance and blood pressure, as well as helping your muscles and nerves to work. Cutting down on salt levels helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

High levels of salt also cause the body to retain water, which can increase the amount of fluid in the body and cause swelling in the ankles and tummy. 


Drinking alcohol can raise your heart rate, cause arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and increase your blood pressure. It can also cause damage to the muscle of the heart. 

You may not need to completely avoid alcohol, but keeping within the standard guidelines is generally recommended. 

Alcohol and medication

Alcohol can interact with some medications and can make them less- or non-effective.  

The patient information leaflet that comes with medication will usually have information and advice about drinking alcohol while taking the medication. 

You can talk to your doctor, cardiologist or pharmacist about any possible reaction between alcohol and particular medication you are taking.


Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease and should be avoided by people with cardiomyopathy. If you smoke, stopping smoking can be one of the most important things you can do to help your heart health.

For more information about stopping smoking, how your GP can help, and details of the NHS stop smoking services, visit NHS Choices


Caffeine can cause arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and palpitations (feeling your heart beat), in some people. Caffeine is a stimulant: it stimulates the nervous system to release adrenaline, causing the heart rate and blood pressure to rise. This can be a problem for some people with reduced heart function.