Avoid These Foods for a Healthier Heart, According to Experts
Our diet plays an important role in our heart health, which can work either in our favor or the opposite, depending on the foods we eat each day. "For optimal health, the American Heart Association recommends that adults eat a healthy diet that includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, lean vegetable or animal proteins, and fish," said Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD Professor of Nutrition at Penn State and a Fellow of the American Heart Association. The foods we eat directly affect our blood pressure and even help track how your blood is clotting. And while obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are heart disease risk factors that are closely related to our diet, eating a diet low in saturated fat and high in fiber can significantly lower our risk of heart disease.
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However, are there things we should also try to avoid consuming too much for the benefit of our cardiovascular health? Indeed.
According to Kris-Etherton, we should limit foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat, sodium (salt), processed meats, refined carbohydrates, and sugary drinks.
"Both saturated and trans fats increase LDL cholesterol, and sodium increases blood pressure, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke," explains Kris-Etherton. “Bacon and cold cuts, for example, are processed meat to avoid this. But also watch out for things like meat / jerk sticks, which are particularly high in sodium and saturated fat. Finally, you should consume foods like soda, candy, pastries, and fatty and sugary desserts in moderation. "
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Brian Lima, MD, a renowned cardiac surgeon, agrees. “Cold cuts and meat for lunch are loaded with saturated fats and high amounts of sodium, which is the main component of salt,” he explains. "Increased sodium intake is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart failure."
In addition to processed meat, according to Dr. Lima is also used for canned tuna and soup, which are usually high in sodium. "Foods high in saturated fats, like bacon and fried chicken, can also increase your overall levels of bad cholesterol - they're 'bad' because they can encourage atherosclerotic plaque to build up in your blood vessels and increase your risk of having a heart attack or Stroke, "he says.
But there is a silver lining that includes all heart-healthy foods that taste delicious too. "Yes, there are foods that you should avoid, but there are also many foods that you can try and include in your diet to keep your body nourished with positive nutrients," adds Kris-Etherton. “When it comes to eating healthily, focus on adding more delicious, nutritious foods when possible, rather than limiting yourself to limiting and limiting yourself. Making your diet comfortable will make it easier to care for, which is important for the long-term overall picture that affects heart health. "
Talk about words you can live by.
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