Maintaining a healthy heart means making good food choices when you sit down to the table.
Everything in moderation is a key to making healthy dietary choices that take care of your heart, Cardiologist Jeff Etherton told Thrillist
. But there are foods that are worse than others, and here are six of the worst foods you can choose:
1. French Fries –
(Say it isn't so!) In general, fried foods are bad for you, but Etherton told Thrillist "What you’re doing is taking a pure chunk of carbohydrate and then you’re frying it and putting salt on it," he said. "The problem is our bodies do crave that sodium and fat. But it's good to substitute that stuff with healthier, plant-based snacks that are still delicious."
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2. Sausage and other processed red meats –
Yep, that means bacon, too. According to the American Heart Association
, a study published in one of its journals found that men who ate moderate amounts of processed red meats had increased risk and incidence of heart failure.
3. Any foods with trans fats –
In 2015, the Food & Drug Administration decided that partially hydrogenated foods are no longer "generally recognized as safe," the category in which they previous fell, the AHA said.
"Thanks to the FDA’s actions, taking industrially produced trans fat out of the food supply may prevent 10,000 to 20,000 heart attacks and 3,000 to 7,000 coronary deaths each year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. And the Center for Effective Government has calculated that averting these heart attacks and deaths could create $30 and $41 billion in benefits to the U.S. economy," the AHA said.
4. Salt – EatingWell reported
that most Americans take in 3,400 milligrams of salt every day, which is one-third more than the recommended daily limit. For adults older than 51 years or for those who react to salt (people with high blood pressure or diabetes, for instance), the recommended amount is only 1,500 mg per day. Cut back salt to lower high blood pressure.
5. White bread –
"Women who eat a lot of foods rich in refined carbohydrates like white bread, pizza and rice are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women who eat few of those foods, according to a recent study from Italy," MedHelp reported
. "The increased risk seems to be associated with carbs that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream rather than carbohydrates on the whole, say the researchers."
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6. Soda, regular and diet –
The AHA recommends no soda because it is so high in sugar, which can increase obesity risk, which in turn increases heart disease risk. But MedHelp also said diet sodas are bad, pointing to a study that found people who drank a low-cal soda every day increased their risk of a cardiovascular event by 61 percent.
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