The food we eat has a massive impact on our heart health.
For years experts have been saying that a healthy diet and lifestyle is one of the best ways to fight cardiovascular disease and while we know that fruits, veggies and whole grains are all good options, what about the foods that are not so great for your ticker?
Sugar, saturated fats, and loads of salt can all increase your risk for heart disease and stroke but it is not always easy to identify the foods that contain these. So, we did the homework for you. Here are some of the worst foods for your heart:
Who doesn't love bacon with their eggs (or anything else)? Unfortunately, this is one of the worst foods you can consume if you are eating for heart health. WebMD noted that bacon is loaded with saturated fat, which can cause your bad cholesterol to rise and increase your risk for heart attack or stroke, and it is crammed with salt, which can cause high blood pressure and lead to stroke and heart disease.
We all know that too much sugar can be bad for your teeth -- but your heart? Experts believe that diets high in added sugar can cause numerous health issues including obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol, which are all risk factors for heart disease, Time reported. The evidence is mounting as to why you should put that chocolate bar down.
3. Refined carbs.
Those cookies you are eating are not a good idea, but you probably already knew that. However, experts at Harvard Medical School suggest that white bread, rice, low-fiber breakfast cereals and other refined processed carbohydrates are bad for your heart. These foods wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels and are also crammed with artificial ingredients, sugar, trans fats and sodium -- the perfect combination for an increased risk to heart disease, HEALTHbeat reported.
4. Deep fried foods.
French fries, friend chicken and even that deep-fried fish you had for dinner are all linked to an increased risk of heart disease. It all has to do with trans-fats, which is created during conventional frying methods and can raise bad cholesterol.
5. Baked goods.
While it is OK to indulge in a slice or two of cake at birthdays and weddings, it's best to keep these baked goods as an occasional treat. That includes muffins, which are often touted as a healthy breakfast option. These foods are packed with sugar, which causes weight gain, and can also increase bad cholesterol and can lead to heart disease, WebMD said.
First we were told to swap butter for margarine, now experts are suggesting that margarine is just as bad for your heart, so which is it? It all comes down to trans-fats, which is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and found in certain types of margarine. WebMD recommends opting for a soft, spreadable margarine that is free of partially hydrogenated oils.
7. Processed meats.
This may put a dampener on your lunches and parties but according to experts, processed meats are all bad for your heart. This includes hot dogs, sausage, salami and deli meats, HEALTHbeat reported. Studies show that these are possibly the worst types of meat for your heart as they contain salt, nitrates and many other preservatives.
The bad news is that most takeout pizzas are crammed with sodium, saturated fats and loads of calories, which all raise your risk for heart disease and stroke. The good news is you can put a healthy spin on this dish, WebMD suggests going for a thin crust and swopping out the pepperoni or sausage for vegetables. And hold off on the cheese.