Is there a relationship between diet and atrial fibrillation?

There is an indirect relationship between a healthy diet and AF. A healthy diet reduces obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, which are recognised risk factors developing AF. Furthermore, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure result in poorer outcomes in patients who already have a diagnosis of AF. Therefore, by  reducing the risk of developing these conditions a healthy diet could have a positive impact on progression of AF.

Is there a direct relationship between the type of diet and AF?

The question relating to the optimal diet in patients with atrial fibrillation is not fully answered. A number of previous studies have demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet, which typically contains fish and plant-based foods, may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation.7 It has been proposed that the presence of natural antioxidants in foods such as olive oil, nuts and fruits and vegetables may reduce atrial fibrillation.8-10 There is some recent evidence to suggest that a low carbohydrate diet may be associated with an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation, regardless of the type of protein or fat used to replace carbohydrates.11 But overall, before specific diets can be recommended in patients with atrial fibrillation, more research studies are necessary. As discussed above, the biggest impact of a healthy diet is likely to be related to weight loss and modification of risk factors for atrial fibrillation such as diabetes and high blood pressure.