Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in many parts of the world. Being obese is one of the main reasons why people have a heart condition. While not being physically active does increase the risk of suffering from a heart attack, the foods you eat also directly affect your chances of getting the disease. This only requires you even more to pay attention to what you are eating, which is an excellent preventative measure to ensure good heart health.
The following foods are some of the things you should cut back on if you are watching the health of your heart:
1. Processed Meats: As much as possible, you should avoid eating processed meats or simply limit to two servings every week. Hot dogs, sausages, deli meats, and salami may be some of your favorites, but now it is time for you to stop eating them. They contain high amounts of preservatives, nitrites, and salts.
2. Processed Grains: From highly refined grains to processed carbs and grains, these foods will not improve the health of your heart. In this case, you should stop eating them or at least limit to seven ounces every week. Many studies have proven that high intake of whole grains can lower your risk for stroke, diabetes, and of course heart disease. However, eating low-fiber cereals, white bread, and white rice will only increase your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol levels.
3. Soft Drinks: Sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, should be limited to eight ounces of servings daily. If possible, you should avoid drinking soda to stop increasing your calorie consumption. Even if the soda says it is sugar-free or is low on sugar, you still should avoid drinking it as it does not offer any nutrients. Instead, it helps in uncontrollable weight gain, which is a risk factor for heart attacks.
4. Trans Fats: Packaged snacks, margarines, and bakery goods are high trans fats and you should cut back on them as soon as you can. This type of fat only promotes bad cholesterol. If you’re going to have a snack, look for a product that clearly states it has zero trans fat.
5. Saturated Fats: Mayo, sour cream, and butter are among the main sources of saturated fats. Too much of this type of fat can increase the cholesterol in your blood, which then results to developing coronary heart disease.
Aside from the foods mentioned above, you should also cut back on drinking alcohol. While a glass or two a day may help protect the heart, you should not indulge in drinking alcohol as too much can cause more harm than good.