Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Do you want to maintain your heart and cardiovascular system for the rest of your life?
The effect of food on heart health need not be emphasised. A well-balanced diet promotes general health and wellness, including weight management, but certain foods can considerably boost your heart’s health while others can harm it.
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of some food items, you should definitely ditch to have a healthy heart.
Keep these meals and snacks out of your shopping cart and out of your regular diet, irrespective of whether you’re at home, dining out or ordering takeout.
Save them for once-in-a-while indulgences at most, and swap them out for heart-healthy foods, ingredients and drinks, whenever possible.
Do you guzzle it down in an effort to stay awake while working late on a vital presentation? It’s not a good habit, to be sure.
Natural energy boosters guarana and taurine are found in energy drinks. When mixed with caffeine — a significant ingredient in energy drinks – this results in racing heartbeats.
Soft drinks & carbonated beverages
The largest source of added sugar in diets isn’t food but bubbly beverages. It has the ability to quickly raise your blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, it places a lot of strain on the artery walls, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Drinking soda on a daily basis can be harmful to your heart health.
Do you enjoy grabbing that rejuvenating cup of coffee? It is quite harmful and is branded as the biggest dietary cause of heart disease.
It is high in sugar, high in caffeine, and high in fat. If you are concerned about your heart health, it is not a good idea to drink blended coffee on a regular basis.
Because of the high amounts of sugar and caffeine in them, they can raise both your blood sugar and blood pressure.
The deep-fried foods from restaurants and fast-food places, such as french fries, fried chicken and fried snacks, have been linked to an elevated risk of heart disease, as per several studies.
So, what is it about the fried foods that makes them an enemy of your heart?
They have a lot of trans fat and salt in them that may raise your odds of heart disease.
Studies have linked fried food with type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure — all of which cause an upped risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cookies & pastries
Yes, you enjoy sinking your teeth into cookies, cakes, muffins and pastries. However, it offers the worst possible nutritional profile.
Most baked products are typically loaded with added sugar and are likely to contain saturated fats (such as butter or palm oil) or trans fats (like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) that definitely raise a person’s risk of heart disease.
Their main ingredient, white flour causes a spike in blood sugar levels.
A typical packet of noodles is every college student’s best friend for satiating untimely cravings. However, unless consumed in moderation, it is likely to have detrimental consequences on your heart.
Research continues to mount linking the high salt content in noodles to the development of heart-disease risk factors.
Additionally, they are deficient in nutrition and contain saturated fats. If you are consuming instant noodles regularly, you are not doing your heart any favours.
Cold cuts and processed meat — bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs, even deli meats — are just about the worst animal-based protein you can include in your diet.
High in sodium, preservatives, nitrates and nitrites, it’s not a heart-healthy choice.
In comparison to processed meat, red meat might be a better alternative and a good source of protein, but it doesn’t mean that it should be the foundation of your diet.
Limit your consumption of lean cuts of meat — and limit processed and curated meats.
If there is one ingredient anyone with heart disease or risk for heart disease must avoid, it is sugar-sweetened foods and drinks.
Experts say that diets high in added sugar may be a big contributor threat of heart disease.
Insulin levels may rise as a result of excessive consumption of added sugar in any form.
This, in turn, will deposit more calories in your belly, increasing your risk of heart disease.
Do you have a bad habit of nibbling on potato/corn chips all the time? If so, it’s past time to break the habit.
Potato chips are high in trans fat and carbohydrates. Additionally, they’re also covered in salt — which is linked to an increased risk for heart disease and stroke, especially if consumed in high numbers.
Several research studies indicate that they lower good (HDL) cholesterol and raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.
Eating a little bit of any of these foods once in a while is okay if you keep it in check. Just do not overdo it. Once you start regularly indulging in these meals, it’s bad news for your heart — and also your overall health.
To minimize the risks of cardiac illnesses and complications, you should also opt for a preventive heart checkup.
This health check can provide you with a comprehensive insight into your heart’s health, allowing you to take necessary precautions to keep your heart healthy.
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