You know that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is key to health and longevity. However, do you know which foods directly impact your heart health? The good news is that many of your heart’s worst offenders are foods you already know are bad, like fried foods, candy, and alcohol. But, did you know that some types of meats and fruit juices also make the list?
To ensure heart health, avoid these foods:
• Processed and cured meats – These types of meats, which include cold cuts, bacon, and hot dogs, contain high amounts of saturated fats, which can lead to plaque buildup and hardening of the arteries.
• Refined and processed grains – Anything processed is bad for your heart, and this includes grains. White flour and white rice are just two examples of these foods, which cause sharp increases in sugar and insulin levels.
• Fried foods – Fried food causes high blood pressure and obesity, both of which are heart disease risk factors. Bake, broil, or roast your food for a healthy alternative to frying.
• Soda and sweetened beverages – Sweetened drinks, including fruit juice, raise triglyceride levels in your blood, which may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
• Candy – Like soda, candy can lead to dangerously high triglyceride levels. An unchecked sweet tooth can also up your risk for diabetes.
• Alcohol – While moderate drinking may be linked to a lowered risk of heart disease, drinking above the one to two-drink limit regularly is hard on your heart.
• Canned soups and vegetables – While veggies and some soups are beneficial to your health, the problem here is sodium. Canned foods are extraordinarily high in sodium, which contributes to high blood pressure and heart problems.
• Foods with trans fats – Did you know that artificial trans fats are some of the most detrimental when it comes to heart health? That’s because they actively lower good cholesterol levels and heighten bad ones.
• Condiments – Unfortunately, your favorite bottle of ranch dressing or ketchup is rich in sodium, which can contribute to adverse heart effects over time.
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