Foods to Avoid To Manage SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia)

Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) is a heart condition characterized by a rapid heart 

rate originating above the heart’s ventricles. 

It typically results from abnormal electrical pathways in the heart, leading to episodes of a fast, irregular heartbeat. 

While SVT is not often life-threatening, it can be extremely uncomfortable and concerning for those who experience it. 

While medical intervention is essential, dietary choices also play a significant role in managing SVT. 

What you eat can influence your heart rate and overall heart health. 

In this article, we’ll look into the foods to avoid with SVT and what to eat instead. 

Foods to Avoid with SVT

1) Caffeine

Caffeine is a well-known stimulant found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some soft drinks. 

It can trigger or exacerbate SVT by increasing the heart rate and promoting irregular heart rhythms. 

If you’re a caffeine enthusiast, consider switching to decaffeinated beverages.

2) Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to heart palpitations and arrhythmias, including SVT. Limit your alcohol intake and monitor how it affects your heart rate.

3) High-Fat and Fried Foods

Foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as fried foods, processed snacks, and certain margarine, can lead to inflammation and potentially worsen SVT. 

Opt for heart-healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

4) Tyramine-Rich Foods

Tyramine, found in aged cheeses, processed meats, and some fermented foods, can trigger heart palpitations in some people. 

If you notice a correlation between tyramine-rich foods and your SVT episodes, it’s best to avoid them.

5) Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can stimulate the vagus nerve, which may lead to SVT episodes in sensitive people. 

If you find that spicy foods trigger your symptoms, consider reducing your consumption.

6) Grapefruit

Grapefruit contains compounds that can interfere with certain medications commonly prescribed for heart conditions. 

If you’re on medication for SVT or related issues, consult your doctor about grapefruit consumption.

7) Processed Foods

Highly processed foods often contain high levels of sodium and artificial additives, which can contribute to high blood pressure and exacerbate heart issues. 

Opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.

8) Excessive Sugar

High sugar intake can lead to obesity and other risk factors for heart disease. Reducing your sugar consumption can help manage your SVT and improve your overall health.

9) Excessively Cold or Hot Beverages

Very cold or hot drinks can stimulate the vagus nerve and potentially trigger SVT episodes in some people. Opt for beverages at a moderate temperature.

10) Sugary and High-Caffeine Energy Drinks

Energy drinks have a high caffeine and sugar content, which may contribute to rapid heart rate and palpitations. It’s advisable to limit their consumption.

11) Processed Meats

Processed meats like sausages, bacon, and deli meats contain preservatives and high levels of sodium, which can contribute to heart issues. Choose leaner sources of protein instead.

12) Artificial Sweeteners

Some people may be sensitive to artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which can trigger heart palpitations. 

If you notice a correlation between these sweeteners and your SVT, consider avoiding them.

13) High-Sodium Foods

Excessive salt intake can lead to high blood pressure and fluid retention, which may exacerbate SVT. 

Avoid highly salted foods like processed snacks, canned soups, and fast food.

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Foods to Eat If You Have Supraventricular Tachycardia

1) Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support heart health. 

Aim for a variety of options to ensure a broad spectrum of nutrients.

2) Lean Proteins

Incorporate lean sources of protein such as skinless poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes into your meals. 

These are lower in saturated fat and can help maintain a healthy weight.

3) Whole Grains

Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole-grain bread over refined grains. 

They provide essential fiber and nutrients that can contribute to heart health.

4) Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. They can help lower your risk of heart disease.

5) Low-Fat Dairy

If you enjoy dairy products, opt for low-fat or fat-free versions to reduce your saturated fat intake. Greek yogurt and skimmed milk are good choices.

6) Herbal Teas

Herbal teas like chamomile and hibiscus can be soothing and caffeine-free alternatives to regular tea or coffee.

7) Water

Staying well-hydrated is essential for heart health. Water is the best choice to keep you hydrated without any added stimulants.

Supraventricular Tachycardia Self-Care Tips

While dietary changes can be beneficial, it’s essential to consider other factors that may trigger or worsen SVT episodes. Here are a few additional lifestyle recommendations:

Stress Management

High stress levels can exacerbate SVT. Explore stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

Regular Exercise

It is also important to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active can support heart health. 

Consult with your healthcare provider to determine a safe exercise regimen.

Medication Compliance

If your doctor prescribes medication to manage your SVT, take it as directed. 

Skipping doses or discontinuing medication without medical guidance can lead to complications.

Regular Check-ups

Schedule regular check-ups with your cardiologist to monitor your heart health and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.


SVT can be managed with medical intervention and a heart-conscious diet tailored to individual needs.

Individual responses to foods may vary, emphasizing the importance of collaborating closely with your healthcare provider to create a personalized SVT management plan.

Making informed dietary choices and lifestyle changes can help you take control of your heart health and lead a more fulfilling life.

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  1. Brubaker, Sarah, Brit Long, and Alex Koyfman. “Alternative treatment options for atrioventricular-nodal-reentry tachycardia: an emergency medicine review.” The Journal of emergency medicine 54.2 (2018): 198-206.
  2. Wilmshurst, P. T. “Tachyarrhythmias triggered by swallowing and belching.” Heart 81.3 (1999): 313-315.
  3. Gammone, Maria Alessandra, et al. “Food-related atrial fibrillation? The potential role of biogenic amines in “Nutri-Arrhythmias” genesis.” Reports 2.1 (2018): 1.
  4. Satish, Oruganti Sai, et al. “Radiofrequency catheter ablation therapy of swallowing‐induced atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia: report of two cases.” Pacing and clinical electrophysiology 28.6 (2005): 594-597.
  5. Ho, Kah Leng, et al. “Supraventricular tachycardia induced by swallowing.” Annals of internal medicine 157.7 (2012): 531-532.

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