The 3 Worst Foods For Your Heart
By Jenna Barrington
Your heart is one of the most incredible organs in your entire body. It pumps continuously for decades and is the core of your very being.
Taking care of your heart and showing it some ‘love’ is key to living a long life free of illness and disease.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. What are we doing that is putting such a strain on what is otherwise such a reliable organ?
Diet and lifestyle are major contributors to either a healthy heart or a sick one. Below are three of the foods that are the worst for your heart.
#1 Foods High in Trans Fats (Hydrogenated fats)
When it comes to fats, it is all about knowing which kinds are important for your body and which kinds you should avoid. Not all fats are bad. Good, healthy fats are an important fuel and energy source for your body and help to keep all your systems functioning at optimum level.
Good fats include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats and some saturated fats which can be found in foods like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, fish, nuts and seeds.
Bad fats include trans fats such as those found in processed foods and fried foods. Trans fat has been shown not only to raise LDL (bad cholesterol) but they also lower HDL (good cholesterol).
Limit your intake of processed, packaged foods, fast foods, etc.
#2 Foods with Added Sugars
We all know the sugars found in processed foods are bad for us. Consuming these sugars can cause a rise in triglyceride levels and blood pressure which can then lead to weight gain. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart and cardiovascular disease.
Added sugars do nothing good for your body and take up space that you could otherwise fill with micronutrient-rich foods and whole foods.
Beware of sugars in processed and packaged foods, dressings, sauces, drinks, sodas, some yogurt and cereals.
Instead of these things focus on whole foods, homemade dressings and sauces, fruits, dark chocolate, raw honey, green juice and smoothies.
#3 Foods High In Salt
In America we add a LOT of salt to our food. People from other countries often complain about American food being “too salty” or “too sweet”.
Diets high in sodium have been shown to increase risk for high blood pressure which in turn leads to heart disease. Watch out for salt content in processed and packaged foods, pizzas, salted butters, pastas (especially instant noodles), and canned meals such as soup.
Focus instead on lots of raw, whole foods. Homemaking most of your meals is the surest way to control how much salt is used. Try to stick to sea salts like Celtic sea salt and Himalayan pink sea salt for best quality.
The message here is this: the closer your foods are to having come straight out of the ground, the more likely they are to be good for you and your heart.
Think fresh, organic, real foods that you can trace back to their origin and that don’t need an ingredients list.
Love your heart and it will love you back!
Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.
Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
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