The infamous quote “Let food be thy medicine” aptly applies to heart health: Diet is extremely important in maintaining good health.
Cardiologists are the one who discovers how a bad diet can harm your heart.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S every year is cardiovascular disease. It is quite shocking that more than 600,000 people die of cardiovascular disease every year.
Worst Foods For Your Health:
Dr Andrew Freeman; Director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado said TODAY “If you go to parts of the world where they have not been exposed to a Western lifestyle, meaning a sedentary lifestyle and eating processed foods, heart disease is in very limited existence,”
“There isn’t a food that will save your life. And there isn’t one that’s going to kill you. It is about balance,” said Dr Sharonne Hayes, professor of cardiovascular medicine and founder of the Women's Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
“So the occasional Cheeto or piece of cheesecake isn’t going to kill you, but it really is what you eat and how much you eat that’s so critical.”
While both the expertise of cardiovascular disease; Freeman and Hayes were asked to share some of the top foods they try to avoid or limit for optimal health.
Food to Avoid for Cardiovascular Disease:
- BACON, SAUSAGE AND OTHER PROCESSED MEATS
Bacon, Sausage and other processed meats are high in calories, saturated fat, salt and have added ingredients like nitrates.
It’s not only heart health that may be affected by overindulging in hot dogs, salami, bacon, ham and jerky: The World Health Organization has determined to eat processed meats causes cancer, Freeman pointed out.
- POTATO CHIPS AND OTHER PROCESSED, PACKAGED SNACKS
It is always safe to stay away from the little pouches of salty, crunchy carbs. “Our culture values convenience, which is great, but convenience doesn’t mean you have to eat packaged processed foods with added sugars and salt,” Freeman said. “Nature has provided for us the exact foods we should be eating; we just need to eat them.”
Those easy, portable, natural foods include apples, carrots and other fruits and vegetables — all fiber-rich, nutrient-full options.
Hayes agrees with many nutritionists that simple carbs — found in chips, slices of bread and crackers — are a bigger issue than fat. Look for ways to increase the complexity of what you eat, in terms of grains and other nutrients, she advised.
Freeman is of the opinion that one should enjoy added sugars in a very limited amount.
When it comes to desserts like pies, ice cream and candy bars. If you are a lover of all these, one can have it once a week at most and also important to keep her portion small to limit calories.
- TOO MUCH PROTEIN
Freeman said that people maximum number of people seem to be obsessed with protein. It is not uncommon to see people getting two times as much protein as they may need in a day and that taxes the kidneys and may cause more problems down the road.
Another issue is that the extra protein often comes from meats high in saturated fats, which may raise LDL or bad cholesterol, and comes at the expense of other food groups. It is advisable better do not overdo or rather opt for plant protein.
- FAST FOOD
It is better to avoid burger and chicken fast food restaurants because there’s virtually nothing on the menu that is literally healthy for you. Moreover, the items that aren't fried are typically high in simple carbs.
- ENERGY DRINKS
Talking about self, Freeman said he tends to stay away from energy drinks since they contain added sugar, plus ingredients that may potentially induce problems like high blood pressure or arrhythmia.
However, that doesn’t mean that one should skip caffeine. To a certain extent, it is beneficial to drink tea or coffee in moderation every day.
- NO ADDED SALT
It is not uncommon for a person to get three or four times the recommended daily amount, Freeman said. Added salt loiters in products the one is not aware of like a cereal, a pickle that comes with your sandwich etc.
One must remember that yes we need salt to live, but a high-sodium diet raises blood pressure.
- COCONUT OIL
Coconut oil contains more saturated fat than lard.
No doubt, it is a wonderful moisturizer for hair and skin, but too much consumption of coconut oil is not good for health.