When it comes to heart health, it's never a bad idea to steer clear of added sugar and sodium. However, according to a Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study, nearly half of Americans consume a sandwich every day—and they're one of the top sources of salt in the American diet. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, ... Foods that cause inflammation tied to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. It's no secret that consuming too many muffins can contribute to the eponymous term for the fat lurking around your midsection. Plus, most of the sugar comes from fruit-derived fructose, which has been shown to elevate blood triglycerides as well as increase belly fat. While 100 percent fruit juice may be a better pick than soda or other sugary drinks like Sunny D, the natural stuff can pack dozens of grams of sugar per serving—or what you would get from nearly four Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. Those conditions could 'eventually cascade to a heart attack,' if blood flow to the heart doesn't improve," Dr. Gulati told The New York Times. Whole grains can reduce your risk of dying of heart disease, but nutrient-stripped refined grains have the opposite effect on your health. Your regular red Heinz bottle packs in four grams of sugar and 160 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. The risk of heart disease was about one-third higher among those who were high consumers of either type of soda, compared to low consumers. Stick with the freshly made varieties from a local juice shop (or your kitchen). Two tablespoons of Daisy's Sour Cream packs in 3.5 grams of saturated fat, which can rack up quickly if you're using the creamy stuff as a dip. The bottled versions are filled to the brim with salt. "Baked goods have a double whammy of sugar and hidden saturated fat," says Adam Splaver, MD, clinical cardiologist and co-founder of Nano Health Associates. There's no doubt that TV dinners are too tempting not to nuke when you're short on time, but even some of the seemingly healthy frozen boxes are no-gos. "Drinking soda has serious consequences," Dr. Splaver says. Consider French fries a triple threat to your heart health by those standards. Try these lifestyle changes for a healthier you. Unlike unadulterated whole grains, refined grains (those found in white bread) are stripped of the fiber, minerals, phytochemicals, and healthy fats—all of which promote heart health. French fries' favorite condiment is loaded with two heart-harming offenders. If you often pour a cup of Heinz Home Style Roasted Turkey Gravy over poultry, you're contributing 920 milligrams of sodium to your dinner! Toasted croissants may upgrade any breakfast sandwich with their decadent fluffiness and smooth, buttery flavor. Not all restaurants' soups are quite that salt-filled, but even chains like Ruby Tuesday and Applebee's don't ladle out many options with less than half a day's sodium per bowl. Sugar, in general, is bad for your heart. In short, foods that are high in sugar, salt, and saturated fat can ultimately be raising your heart attack risk without you even realizing it. Anything deep fried should be avoided on a heart-healthy diet, French fries included. Get this: Campbell's Chunky Creamy Chicken and Dumplings Soup packs in 890 milligrams per cup—that's just under forty percent of the sodium limit the FDA recommends per day! And while desserts can be dangerous, plenty of other common foods are proven to be detrimental to your heart … If eaten daily, that risk goes up to 14%. Don't be fooled by the words "low-fat" scribbled on the label; even the reduced fat versions of cured meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate. Swap your soda (or diet soda) for sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh fruit. And unlike other fats, the saturated variety is the one most likely to be stored in the stomach and wreak havoc on your cardiovascular well-being. The bread and condiments certainly don't help the situation, but cold cuts and cheese are the primary culprits, contributing about 250 milligrams of sodium per slice. Stick with whole grains to ward off potential health issues. One study … Instead of ordering fries on the side, opt for a baked potato with the skin on to reap taters' vitamin C, B6, and magnesium. Grilled chicken breast is one of the best proteins for weight loss. Dr. Splaver warns that fructose can overload your liver and cause insulin resistance. Consuming diet soda will tell your pancreas to make more insulin, which will increase your adiposity (fat deposits) and risk of cardiovascular disease." Consider this: Marie Callender's Apple Pie contains six grams of saturated fat per serving—which amounts to about half of the American Heart Association's daily recommendation in just one slice. Try stirring three parts plain Greek yogurt with one part sour cream for an irresistible topper. Skip the bottled stuff and opt for dressing your salads in extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and a dash of salt. Soda is simply not good for you in any way, and it's most certainly not helping your heart at all, either. An easy way to bypass the bad stuff? Spreading a teaspoon of butter on whole-grain toast is totally acceptable every so often, but melting it over your popcorn, pancakes, and seafood is spelling out bad news for your pumper. It's no secret that potato chips are not a friend to a healthy eating plan. The AHA recommends engaging in moderately intense aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity weekly in addition to moderate- to high-intensity strength training two days a week. And though the nutrition label on Pillsbury Grands! If you truly want to slash your risk of heart disease, cut the cheddar out of your sub sandwich and stop sneaking a slice of Havarti after dark! Most of us are aware that what we eat affects our health. Pouring yourself a bowl of Froot Loops or Lucky Charms is undoubtedly not an ideal way to start your day, especially when it comes to caring for your pumper. We think not. Several studies have linked the consumption of fried foods, like French fries, fried chicken and fried snacks, to an increased risk of heart disease. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is one of the best ways to help in preventing coronary heart disease - this means filling up on your greens and keeping saturated fats to a minimum . And while most of it is chocolate, we doubt the population is picking the heart-healthy 70 percent dark chocolate bars over a Snickers every time. Processed foods can cause heart diseases, ... can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and even premature death! For more shockingly sugary foods, check out the 35 Sugariest Restaurant Meals on the Planet. Scientists have found that full-fat dairy products have been linked to higher cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease. The frothy combo of smooth ice cream, milk, and thick flavored syrup may have been a key aspect of your childhood diet and the cause of those all-too-common sugar rushes. With upwards of 1,000 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon, it's pretty clear why we're deeming this dip a Not That! According to a Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine report, only 33 percent of Americans are looking to cut back on sodium. Canned soups may provide a convenient lunch when you're short on time or ingredients, but despite the produce they pack in, they're far from heart-healthy thanks to their high sodium content. What foods to avoid if you have inflammation: Study finds avoiding inflammatory foods can lower heart disease and stroke risk. Flavored and sweetened versions often contain processed sugar while skimping out on cardio-protective fats. Ordering the soup before your meal may seem like a sound way to fill up and cut calories by eating less of your main course—except your efforts can backfire if the broth you ordered is jam-packed with sodium. The FDA has … Sorry poutine lovers, gravy isn't a heart-healthy sauce you should be drizzling on anything. This buildup of plaque, a condition called atherosclerosis, can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In fact, a heavy meal may increase the risk of heart attack by about four times within just two hours after eating, according to the American Heart Association. The problem with the full-fat options is that they have more cholesterol levels. Since shortening hardens into a solid at room temperature, it is mostly comprised of detrimental saturated fats. And the sugar can lead to inflammation, which causes cardiovascular disease. Share: Print. Many of these meats contain nitrates, a preservative that interferes with the body's natural ability to process sugar, which increases the risk of diabetes. The more fried foods you eat, like fried chicken and French fries, the greater the risk to heart health. This can lead to metabolic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes. Shavings of dark chocolate make for a tasty topping, as do raspberries, another heart-healthy food. The Heart Foundation states that replacing just five percent of your daily calories from saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat—such as those found in flax oil—reduces your risk of heart disease by an impressive 10 percent. Here's how: Slice two bananas and place them in a bag and freeze overnight. Not only are they filled with simple sources of carbs that can spike your blood sugar, but they're also filled with fat and salt, too. If you're craving a BEC before noon, grill a couple of lean low-sodium and nitrite-free turkey bacon strips instead. Toss in some minced garlic and onions for an added burst of flavor and anti-inflammatory benefits. Fun fact: Cheese is the single biggest contributor of saturated fat to the American diet. Prefer to sip your greens rather than chew 'em? And in addition to sugar, sodium is another concern, as eating too much salt can raise blood pressure. 19. Candy. Slather your whole-grain noodles with homemade red sauce, replete with cooked tomatoes' LDL- and blood-pressure-lowering lycopene. Spreading the stuff on your sandwiches can easily hike up the sodium and sugar count without even contributing any satiating nutrition. There are better ways to show appreciation than baking a fudgy batch of brownies for your buddies. Butter alternatives like margarine are often made with partially-hydrogenated oils, one of the most common sources of trans fats, which have been linked to heart disease. The hefty amounts of sugar, fats, and salt can shock your body enough to elevate your risk of high blood pressure and clot formation post dinner. Not only will this switch help you fend off belly fat, it'll also prevent heart disease. "Regular soda promotes an insulin spike, which leads to weight gain and can cause a host of metabolic disorders. Read food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. In fact, one four-ounce serving of fried chicken with the skin on it has as much cholesterol as 11 strips of sizzling bacon! If you're hitting up your local Japanese joint, opt for skipping the soy sauce and topping your sushi with pickled ginger, which can aid in digestion and kill any bacteria that may be lurking in your salmon roll. And by drinking your fruit and vegetables without the skins, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids, a key risk factor for heart disease. And high blood pressure can cause their arteries to harden and narrow, increasing the risk of heart disease. Do your heart a favor and opt for a more heart-healthy piece of poultry. Not only can the sugar overload send blood glucose soaring, but the caffeine can also increase your blood pressure levels—a combination that's less than ideal if you're trying to ward off diabetes and heart disease. In theory, a green smoothie is the picture of health. Get this: Burger King's chocolate hand-spun shake manages to sneak 112 grams of sugar—that's about 4 and a half days' worth of the sweet carb! But many of us are consuming more than that each day, which isn't great for heart health. Salad dressings such as honey mustard, ranch, and Italian are often hidden sources of sugar and salt. A good rule of thumb is to avoid purchasing any product that is not normally fat-free. The main ingredient in candy is sugar. The agency instead pointed to pet food labeled as "grain-free" and containing peas, lentils and other legume seeds and/or potatoes as their primary ingredients. "Consuming diet soda will tell your pancreas to make more insulin, which will increase your adiposity (fat deposits) and risk of cardiovascular disease.". Yogurt is a cornerstone of a gut-friendly diet thanks to its plethora of digestive-aiding probiotics, yet there are plenty of sugar-filled tubs out there that can not only upset your tummy by feeding the bad gut bacteria, but also cause unsightly insulin spikes. To make sure you're getting enough of the metabolism-spiking macro, stock up on lean meats such as turkey, chicken, and grass-fed beef in addition to fatty fish such as salmon and herring. Cracking open too many cold ones isn't just adding inches to your waistline, it's also likely preventing your heart from pumping properly. Want some pasta with that salt? On the other hand, leaner cuts of meat such as London broil, filet mignon, round or flank steak, sirloin tip, and tenderloin weighed below six ounces are recommended by the AHA. Get the best food tips and diet advice every day. Back in the 1970s, fat-free products were touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle. (Yes, even the healthy-sounding options.) Margarine may be touted as a heart-healthy replacement for butter; however, certain tubs are anything but. Beyond the sugars, soda has phosphoric acid which can promote osteoporosis and may be a cancer-causing agent. Much like sausage, deli meats, bacon, and hot dogs are processed meats you want to avoid on the reg thanks to their high saturated fat and nitrite content. Scale back on the condiments to keep your ticker in tip-top condition. According to a report in the Insider, a group of Italian researchers … Even though this breakfast staple doesn't taste salty, a one-cup serving can carry around 700 milligrams of the mineral—more than a third of what you're supposed to have in an entire day. There's also another way to drastically improve your cholesterol and blood pressure levels—by revamping your diet. Stay away from these blood-sugar-spiking foods. Take this: P.F. A plain croissant from Dunkin' Donuts is concocted with potentially trans fatty ingredients such as monoglycerides and saturated fat-filled modified palm oil in addition to corn syrup solids, sugar, and fructose. You guessed it: Sugar and saturated fat! A low-sodium diet is essential for a healthy heart, as eating more than 2,300 milligrams (equivalent to one full teaspoon) of salt a day can result in high blood pressure, a serious risk factor for cardiovascular disease. And it can increase fatty deposits, putting you at risk for heart disease. Processed foods are far from the cornerstone of a healthy diet, but buttery biscuits are one of the prime culprits of heart disease. Consuming the stripped grain can lead to insulin spikes, which trigger weight gain—a risk for developing heart disease. They're high in calories, fat, and sodium—and are especially hard to quit noshing on after just one serving. Nitrates are linked to potential heart disease risk and are known to promote inflammation—a chronic condition that's directly linked to atherosclerosis. This process is called atherosclerosis. Americans consume a staggering 22 pounds of candy a year. Want to lower your risk? Just because sugar-free pops don't contain actual sugar, it doesn't mean it's any better than the real thing. Total heartbreaker, we know. In fact, the AHA confirmed that a heavy meal may increase the risk of heart attack by about four times within just two hours after eating. When you're in the freezer aisle, look for meals with less than 500 milligrams per serving. Junk foods fall into all of these categories; however, they can increase your risk of heart disease in another way. Save your heart and skip the steakhouse visit. Following cheese, pizza is the second biggest contributor of heart-taxing saturated fat in the U.S. Rather than ordering a large pie for a movie night in, stick to just one slice and pair it with a side salad to help promote satiety and up your intake of fiber—a macro that helps lower bad cholesterol and keep your ticker in top health. Obesity and belly fat have long been linked to cardiovascular disease. Like saturated fats, trans fats tend to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood but they also tend to reduce HDL (good) cholesterol levels. less than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. The hefty amounts of sugar, fats, and salt in takeout can shock your body enough to elevate your risk of high blood pressure and clot formation post-dinner. How sugar can hurt your heart Potatoes are already high glycemic, causing your blood sugar levels to spike. Read on to see which foods you should avoid to keep your heart pumping properly, and then replace these fridge offenders with heart-healthy foods instead. All Rights Reserved. Eating whole grains can also contribute to heart health and reduce the negative impacts of coronary heart disease. The Heart Foundation recommends replacing saturated fats (such as butter) with polyunsaturated fat (such as flax oil) to decrease both LDL cholesterol and your total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio. All Rights Reserved. Processed foods can cause heart diseases, premature death; Warning! Our advice: If you're looking to enjoy something warming and delicious, make soup at home with the help of these soup recipes that burn fat. ", Think you're doing your body a favor by replacing that can of regular soda with a Diet Coke? RELATED: The easy guide to cutting back on sugar is finally here. Before placing an elegantly-latticed pie as the centerpiece of your dinner table, keep in mind that the dessert isn't only detrimental to your heart, it's also one of the worst foods for your brain. "Regular soda promotes an insulin spike, which leads to weight gain and can cause a host of metabolic disorders. How? "Drinking soda has serious consequences," Adam Splaver, MD, clinical cardiologist and co-founder of NanoHealthAssociates warns us in 15 Foods That Tax Your Heart. Sure, it's made with your favorite fruit and packs in a solid dose of vitamins—but one look at the sodium content deems many bottles a total nightmare. However, one too many visits to Colonel Sanders' house could end up hiking up your medical bills. A quarter-cup of Hunt's Tomato sauce packs a whopping 380 milligrams of sodium. Why Foods Cause Heart Palpitations. Not only do commercially baked cakes contain boatloads of sugar, they may also come concocted with partially hydrogenated oils—aka potential sources of trans fat. "[They] generally have no nutritional value and often contain hidden saturated fat and hydrogenated shortenings, which may raise your bad cholesterol." To keep your blood pressure from spiking, look for jars of tomato sauce with fewer than 350 milligrams per serving. In order to drastically improve your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and overall risk of having a heart attack, you're going to want to revamp your diet as best as you can. for heart health. They're high in calories, fat, and sodium—and are especially hard to quit noshing on after just one serving. The FDA recommends that people consume less than 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. While 100 percent fruit juice may be a better pick than soda, the natural stuff can pack up to 36 grams of sugar per serving. Read on to see which foods you should avoid in order to keep your heart pumping properly. Just one piece of KFC's Original Recipe Chicken Thigh packs in 910 milligrams of sodium and 19 grams of fat, two macros that can hike up your risk of heart disease. Numerous studies have linked a high intake of this artery-clogging fat to heart disease, so you're better off munching in moderation. As reported by WebMD, a recent study found that people who eat fried foods at least three times per week have a 7% higher risk of stroke and heart disease. The bacon and sausage you enjoy for breakfast and the deli meats you use to make your lunch may be putting your health at risk. Warning: Blended coffees laced with syrup, sugar, whipped cream, and other toppings can have as many calories and fat grams as a milkshake. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease (which is also commonly referred to as heart disease) is the leading cause of death globally. 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