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10 of the Worst Foods For Heart Health

Updated on December 26, 2015

10 Foods You Should Never Eat if You Want a Healthier Heart

If you're concerned about the health of your heart, there are some foods that should be avoided at all costs. Foods that clog your arteries can adversely affect the overall health of your heart. If any of these ten foods are a part of your current diet, you could be looking at some serious heart health issues in the near future.

1.) Processed Meats

Foods like processed hot dogs, bacon, sausage and prepackaged deli meats are chock full of sodium and preservatives. Also, added nitrates and nitrites are often included in these foods, and both of these culprits have been linked to certain heart issues. Processed meats are also higher in saturated fat and lower in protein than self-prepared meats.

2.) Red Meats

Red meat is not a heart-healthy food, especially if it is part of your everyday diet. It's an animal protein that's loaded with saturated fat and if consumed excessively, it can be detrimental to the health of your heart. Eating red meat in moderation is not necessarily bad for your heart, but you should only consume it every few weeks, rather than every few days or every day.

3.) Pizza

A pizza pie is doughy, covered with cheese and laced with pepperoni and/or other processed meats. On average, these contain nearly two-thirds of the recommended daily maximum amount of saturated fat. Most of the ingredients in pizza, especially take-out pizza, are processed foods, loaded with sodium. Again, for a healthier version, use a thin, whole wheat crust, low-/non-fat cheese, some fresh veggies and maybe a lean/extra-lean meat or two.

4.) Fettuccini Alfredo

This food is especially bad for your heart. The Alfredo sauce alone is packed with saturated fat and loaded with calories. It's a combination of cheese, heavy cream and butter, with processed white pasta thrown into the mix. Again, only eating it every so often is the key to keeping your heart healthy. Also, if you want to try a healthier alternative, you can use whole wheat pasta noodles and create your own Alfredo sauce with cheese and either low-/non-fat milk or low-/non-fat plain yogurt. You can even try throwing in some fresh vegetables to boost the nutritional value.

5.) Fried Foods

Fried foods generally are not good for your heart. A lot of restaurants reuse their oil over and over again, saturating the fat in it more and more. The way you fry your food can make a huge difference in its nutritional value. Shortening is definitely one of the worst and most unhealthy choices for frying your food. A healthier alternative would be to grill your food and/or use a heart-healthy olive or canola oil instead.

6.) Trans Fats

These fatty acids are the result of the processes of hydrogenating vegetable oils. It’s cheap to create them and most often, they’re used to make the shelf life of prepared and/or prepackaged processed foods a longer one. Trans fats can raise the levels of your bad LDL cholesterol and lower the levels of your good HDL cholesterol, thus putting your heart health at risk.

7.) Ramen Noodles

Each serving of this cheap food contains about 1500mg or more of sodium. What you think you’re saving in dollars, you’re actually paying for in heart risks.

8.) Soda Pop

Whether you call it soda, pop, or soda pop, it’s chock full of calories from refined sugars. A high intake of these refined sugars can cause Type 2 Diabetes and obesity, and both of these are huge factors when it comes to heart disease. Soda pop can cause such a drastically high spike in your insulin levels that even if you only drink one can of it each day, your risk of suffering from a heart attack can increase by up to 20%.

9.) Eggs Benedict

When you combine eggs with an English muffin, Hollandaise sauce, butter and Canadian bacon, you get about 700 calories and nearly 35 grams of fat. This is not good for your heart health.

10.) Fast Food

The vast majority of fast food is loaded with trans fats, saturated fats, and sugar and/or sodium. It can have almost immediate effects on the health of your heart. A study conducted in 2012 showed that just one fast food meal caused up to a 24% decrease in the dilation ability of the blood vessels. One single cheeseburger can contain nearly 1000 calories. Chew on that food for thought.


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