Foods to Avoid to Prevent Heart Disease
How often do you consume processed foods? Are you taking frozen meals to work or grabbing fast food? Choosing these options frequently can increase your risk of high cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and insulin levels, all which can lead to life-threatening heart disease. Here are a few foods to limit or completely avoid:
- Processed meats. Processed foods in general have high levels of salt and other preservatives. Meats such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami and other deli meats are detrimental to the heart. A few slices of deli meat can contain half the recommended level of sodium for an entire day.
- Processed grains and carbohydrates. Foods such as white bread, white rice and low-fiber cereal may produce high spikes in blood sugar while increasing fat.
- Candy. Diets with high sugar may increase risk of obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes. Each of these factors may turn into a greater risk of heart disease.
- Soft drinks and sugar-filled drinks. Americans are consuming more calories within their drinks in addition to food. Sugary drinks may increase your chances of gaining weight and add additional calories.
- Fast food. Fast food restaurants tend to use lower quality ingredients and unhealthy cooking methods. A combination of saturated fats from animals combined with carbohydrate can have a deteriorating effect on heart health. Frying methods also create trans-fat which may lead to an increase of high cholesterol and lower good cholesterol.
- Frozen Meals. Most frozen dinners are filled with at least 600 milligrams of sodium.
Improving your diet may have a great impact on your long-term health. It may be difficult to completely cut these foods out, so set a goal to limit these foods in your diet. High levels of salt, preservatives and sugar will increase your chances of high blood pressure, blood sugar and obesity all potentially leading to heart disease. The best way to make a change is by focusing on what you should eat, rather than focusing on what is off-limits.