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Worst Foods for Heart Health

March 22, 2013

Observing a healthy diet can be beneficial to your heart in many ways. It can keep blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels under control, as well as help your heart and blood vessels function more effectively. Knowing what not to eat is as important as knowing what to eat, and here are some types of food that you should try to avoid as much as you can:

Processed Meats

The Worst Foods for Heart HealthIt is recommended that you do not eat more than two servings of processed meats a week, with the serving size being 2 to 3 ounces. These meats contain high amounts of preservatives that can be detrimental to your heart health, such as salt and nitrites. Some long-term studies have suggested that processed meats are the least heart healthy type of meats. Examples of processed meats include hot dogs, sausages, bacon, salami, and deli meats, such as ham, bologna, turkey, and chicken.

Refined or Processed Grains and Carbohydrates

Grains and carbohydrates that are refined or processed have lost many of the healthy nutrients that are found in whole grains, including fiber, phytochemicals, minerals, and fatty acids. Also, they contain many unhealthy ingredients, such as sodium, sugars, and trans fat. Try not to consume more than seven 1-ounce servings of refined or processed carbohydrates each week.

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks harm your heart in the same ways that refined or processed carbohydrates do, and they also contribute to weight gain due to their high calorie content. It is advisable that you drink no more than seven 8-ounce servings of sugary drinks a week. Sodas, sports drinks, and sweetened fruit drinks are examples of sugary drinks.


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