When it comes to heart health, you might already know that eating healthy and avoiding junk food is a good place to start, but it can be more complicated than you think. Plenty of foods that you enjoy every day, even foods that are otherwise healthy for you, might actually be doing a lot of damage to your heart. Because of this, it is always important to be aware of both what you should avoid and why you should avoid it.
We at Bright Side are always concerned with letting you know just what you need to have a happy and healthy heart, so we are sharing the foods to avoid if you need to clean your arteries.
1. Red meat
Red meat, which refers to meat that is red in color when raw, like beef or lamb, isn’t the best thing for your heart. One study claimed that people who consume red meat on a daily basis had high levels of Trimethylamine N-oxide, a chemical linked to heart disease. Other researchers also found a connection between regularly eating red meat and being at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
2. Canned vegetables and soups
Canned vegetables and canned soups seem like a convenient way to add more veggies to your diet, but they often contain too much added salt, especially if they come with sauce or broth. Too much salt increases blood pressure, which lowers the amount of oxygen going to your heart, which can even lead to a heart attack. Many of the preservatives used in these canned goods can be harmful and one popular soup additive, monosodium glutamate, or MSG, has been linked to heart palpitations.
3. Frozen meals
Frozen meals, especially TV dinners, are convenient, cheap, and often low in calories. However, many frozen meals have high levels of sodium, often used to flavor food, as well as a preservative. People should eat around 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day, but many frozen dinners can have half that in a single meal.
4. Cured meats
Cured meats, which have been preserved or flavored with added salt, like bologna or salami, generally have too much saturated fat and can increase your levels of cholesterol, which, in excess, can cause your blood vessels to develop fatty deposits and increase your risk for heart disease. Even though low-fat options exist, cured meats generally are not heart healthy because of their high levels of salt.
5. Coffee creamer
Coffee creamers often contain partially-hydrogenated oils, a common source of trans fats that can increase cholesterol levels. Generally, if you don’t like your coffee black, milk is a healthier option. Adding plant-based milk is usually a good alternative to coffee creamer.
6. Baked goods
In general, desserts should be enjoyed in moderation, but baked goods, like pies, can be especially troublesome due to their trans fats. One report found that there was a positive correlation between heart disease and trans fatty acids. Many baked goods are flavored with sugar, which can place stress on the heart if eaten in excess. Sugar in food can also contain glucose 6-phosphate, which can lower heart functions to the point of heart failure.