10 Foods That You Should Stop Eating Now to Prevent Heart Attacks
It’s important that we watch what we eat because unhealthy diets are the main cause of most diseases, including heart attacks. 2,150 people in North America alone die every day due to heart health. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for Americans of both genders, according to experts at the American Heart Association. This is why we need to take better care of our diets, so we can prevent ourselves from having a heart attack. A review of your daily meal plan and grocery list is definitely needed, and we’ve compiled a list of foods that should not be in them!
1.Pizza—the Perfect Food?
I know, I know, everybody loves pizza. Asking you to give it up is quite a big request, but think about it – give up pizza, or… die from a heart attack? The answer is pretty clear, isn’t it? Pizza contains high levels of carbohydrates, saturated fats, and general unhealthiness. Let’s face it, it’s an artery blocker; a single slice exceeds about 2/3 of your recommended daily intake of saturated fats! A good idea to eat pizza that won’t kill you is to make it homemade; gluten-free or with whole wheat, with fresh veggies and lean meat, and no processed cheese!
2. Fast Food
Sadly, the spread of fast food is beyond control. A lot of people tend to have fast food as a meal one or more times every single week. But it’s time to stop! Fast food dishes are full of sodium, saturated fats, unhealthy carbs, and refined sugars. They are often fried, greasy, and processed. Even ‘healthy” options in fast food restaurants aren’t really what they seem, so better avoid them entirely.
3. Milk-The Perfect Food?
You’ve known milk to always be good for you, and it is; it can help in bone and dental health and provide many more benefits. But what you do not know is that it is also a food that can increase your blood cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease. Therefore, the best solution is to go for low-fat or skimmed milk.
4. Trans Fats
Trans fats are the devil, beware! The main problem with foods like pizza and burgers are the trans fats themselves. The problem is most commercially produced foods like baked goods, prepackaged food items and snacks contain high amounts of trans fats. Eating such foods regularly will increase your blood cholesterol and clog your arteries, making your heart more vulnerable to heart attacks. Make sure to read the labels and understand what you’re putting into your body.
5. Sugars and Starches
Refined sugars are another major player in heart diseases; and another harmful ingredient that we add into our diets without much thought in the form of sweet treats and sugary drinks. A study conducted in 2012 found that drinking just one sugary beverage everyday can increase your risk of heart attack by 20%! And don’t think that diet sodas get a pass just because they have the word “diet” in their name. They are just as harmful; the same as basically anything with high levels of refined sugars.
6. Processed Meats
Processed foods like sausages, pepperoni, bacon, etc. are full of sodium, nitrates and other similar substances that don’t exactly paint a healthy picture for heart health. Beware of products that are marked as lean too, because they are often just as bad. They too have been processed and mixed with less quality ingredients, meaning that these meats have less protein than they should and are chock full of heart-stopping fats.
7. Butter, Cream, or Cheese Sauces
As we discussed earlier, full fat milk is also something that can cause heart problems. Therefore, products that are derived from said milk like butter, cream cheese, yogurt, etc. are similarly harmful. Try to use reduced fat or skim-milk dairy products, but avoid them completely whenever possible.
8. Red Meat
Who doesn’t love a fat, juicy steak? However, the unfortunate truth is that most, if not all, red meats can pose harmful risks to your heart health and can end up clogging your arteries. Not only is red meat full of fat, the side dishes that we usually have with meat are also full of ingredients that can cause heart disease like chips, gravy, mashed potatoes, etc. It’s a good idea to only have red meat once or twice a month, and try to get meat that is extra lean and limit the serving to about 4-6 ounces per person.
9. Fried Foods
Fried food tastes so good; but is so bad for you. They are full of saturated fats, and most often than not carbs and refined sugars as well. If you are in the habit of eating store-bought fried food, that’s even worse as businesses tend to re-use oil more than once, resulting in more saturation. Instead, make your food at home, replace frying with sautéing and use olive oil instead of refined oils.
10. Breaded Chicken
Chicken is a lean meat and is often a better choice than red meats. But eating breaded chicken (probably fried) makes it just as bad. Breaded chicken is covered in carbs and doused in fats. And we often tend to eat it with some sort of carbohydrates – pasta, bread, etc. Opt for a baked, gluten-free breading and whole-wheat accompaniments.