What you eat is a huge impact on heart health. Some foods are amazing for your heart health, but others aren’t so great for you. Here are a few of the worst foods for your heart.
Worst Foods for Your Heart
Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat that is solid at room temperature. Foods like butter, coconut oil, cheese, and red meat contain high levels of saturated fat. Though a little saturated fat is just fine for your diet, eating too much can be very harmful.
Medline Plus states:
“Your body needs healthy fats for energy and other functions. But too much saturated fat can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries (blood vessels). Saturated fats raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Many high-fat foods such as pizza, baked goods, and fried foods have a lot of saturated fat. Eating too much fat can add extra calories to your diet and cause you to gain weight. All fats contain 9 calories per gram of fat. This is more than twice the amount found in carbohydrates and protein.”
Scientists go back and forth on red meat. Is it healthy? Is it dangerous? Scientists seem to change their minds every day. However, red meat seems to pose at least a small amount of threat to your heart health in MOST studies.
One interesting study followed participants who ate a diet high in red meat, others who ate white meat, and others who ate non-meat protein. The scientists tracked blood levels of Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a dietary byproduct that is formed by gut bacteria during digestion. This chemical is associated with heart disease.
Of the participants on the red meat diet, the study says, “After one month on this diet, blood levels of TMAO were three times higher than when participants were on the diets based on either white meat or non-meat protein sources.”
This suggests that eating more red meat increases your risk of heart disease.
How does salt affect your blood pressure? The CDC gives these points:
- Research shows a strong relationship between the amount of salt consumed and raised levels of blood pressure.
- When salt intake is reduced, blood pressure begins falling within weeks in most people.
- In countries where people consume diets low in salt, people do not experience the increase in blood pressure with age that is seen in most Western countries.
- Reducing sodium intake lowers blood pressure, with greater effects among people with hypertension.
Reducing your sodium intake can help your heart health.
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