10 Foods Your Heart Wants You to Avoid

Heart disease is the leading cause of US deaths, causing 2 in 10 fatalities in adults under 65. It is also one of the most avoidable causes of death. Whether you’re trying to stay healthy or recover from a heart condition, common methods to maintain a healthy heart start with lifestyle changes. Things like regular exercise, weight loss, and eliminating alcohol and smoking go a long way. But what you eat is vital in helping other treatments keep you healthy. Knowing what foods to avoid along with your other lifestyle changes make a big difference in heart health.

Staying heart healthy also means having a medical team you can depend on for checkups and treatment. If you live in the Bakersfield, California, area Dr. Yadwinder Kang and the staff at 1st Choice Urgent Care use their years of experience to give you quality care for your heart.

How your diet affects your heart

Your heart is a muscular organ that acts as a pump to circulate blood throughout your body through your body’s blood vessels and arteries. What you eat affects your blood flow and how much plaque collects in your bloodstream. Plaque is a substance that forms in your blood from bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein, or LDL) in your diet. This plaque builds up in your arteries, making them narrower, which can decrease or stop blood flow. If this happens, you’re at greater risk for conditions like angina, heart attack, or stroke.

Foods that cause your heart problems

Your diet affects many parts of your overall health, including blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. Foods high in trans fats and sodium compromise the things that keep your heart and body healthy. The following foods increase the risk of complications from heart conditions.

1. Fried foods

Frying your food causes your food to lose water and absorb fat. This makes them high in calories, trans fats, and cholesterol. Eating lots of it can cause you problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

2. High sugar foods

Many everyday foods are high in sugar, which is extremely unhealthy even if you see terms like low fat or fat free on the label. Breakfast cereals, low fat yogurt, granola bars, and many other foods are filled with empty calories that lead to weight gain, diabetes, and heart conditions.

3. Refined flour foods

The process of refining flour and other foods removes healthy fibers and makes the final product less satisfying than many unrefined foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Foods made with processed flour like pasta, bread, and crackers are types of refined carbohydrates that increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. 

4. Soft drinks

Beverages like soda have zero nutritional value and are packed with sugar. It may taste good, but all it’s doing is spiking your sugar intake, which leads to the same issues with weight problems, diabetes, and heart disease as most foods on this list.

5. Fruit juices

Don’t let fruit juices fool you; most drinks with that label are highly processed and loaded with as much sugar as many sodas. Raw fruits are always healthier, as most fruit juices don’t contain the fibers in fruits that give you health benefits.

6. Pastries and cakes

Most pastries, cookies, and cakes are loaded with a dangerous combination of refined flour and sugar. It gives you no health benefits and only increases your risk of obesity and its many related conditions.

7. Beer

Heavy drinking by itself is connected to weight gain and other health issues, especially if you drink a lot of beer. Drinking in moderation is by far the healthier choice. Small amounts of wine are better for you than drinking lots of beer.

8. Ice cream

In small amounts, ice cream can be a delicious treat, but avoid indulging. Most ice creams are loaded with calories and sugar, which is bad for your waistline and your heart.

9. Fast food

Most fast food restaurants have menus filled with foods loaded with refined carbohydrates and processed meats, which is a perfect recipe for an unhealthy diet and future problems with all the conditions mentioned here.

10. Processed meat

Numerous studies have linked processed meats like sausages, hot dogs, and corned beef to cancer and heart disease. Processed meats contain harmful chemicals fresh meats don’t have, and it’s best to avoid them whenever possible.

A diet high in fresh foods and lean meats does wonders for your overall health, along with regular exercise and watching your weight. If you’re looking for ways to better manage your heart health, make an appointment with Dr. Kang and 1st Choice Urgent Care to get started today.

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