Maintain a Healthy Heart by Avoiding These Foods
We have all heard that with a proper diet you can prevent heart disease. It’s also common knowledge that a proper diet can improve cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, weight issues, and the function of your heart and blood vessels.
However, I’d like to go over what not to eat! Let’s go over which foods should be cut from your diet.
- Processed meats
Processed meats should be consumed, at most, 2 serving per week (2-3 ounces is a serving size). However, it is also preferable to have none.
Processed meat contains high levels of salt, nitrites, and other preservatives, all of which can damage a large quantity of cells over time. Not to mention, that the excess salt stored in your body raises your blood pressure and high blood pressure can become a strain on your heart. Processed meats include hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, and other deli meats, including deli turkey, ham, chicken, and bologna.
- Highly refined and processed grains and carbohydrates
Highly refined and processed grains and carbohydrates are best when you consume none to 7 servings per week (1 ounce is a serving size). Refined carbohydrates (breakfast cereals, white bread, and white rice) are considered unhealthy because of the high levels of processing, which removes the majority of the healthful components (fiber, minerals, fatty acids, and phytochemicals). Secondly, high levels of processing destroys the natural structure of the food, which usually translate to a higher production in sugar. Lastly, the added ingredients to process the food (sodium and sugar) can become unhealthy over time.
Remember, too, that a lack of fiber can increases cholesterol and reduce blood flow, which can cause a heart attack.
- Sugary drink/Soft drinks
Sugary/soft drinks are high in calories (leading to a greater caloric intake) and should be consumed not more than 7-8 servings per week (8 ounces is a serving per day). To be clear, a 12 ounce can of soda is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of table sugar. Also, keep in mind that so-called “diet” sodas are sugar-free, but have no nutrients. Soft/sugary drinks are considered empty calories, because your body does not compute the calories ingested from the liquid the way it does from solid foods.
Remember, control the portion size of the food you consume, and include fresh vegetables and fruit to your diet (they are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber!). On the other hand, highly-processed foods contain salt nitrites, or other preservatives which can become unhealthy if consumed in large quantities.
Too much of a sugar intake can cause diabetes, which is high glucose (sugar levels) in the blood. These excessive levels of sugar can put you at risk for heart failure.
To learn more about dieting, give us a call 888-719-8448 or stop by any of our locations, such as the Colton office near Rialto, Bloomington, San Bernardino, Loma Linda, Highgrove, and Grand Terrace.
Don’t forget to stay tuned to next’s week Nutrition Fridays. If you have any suggestions for our next topic, leave a comment below.