Eating Healthier By Avoiding These 10 Foods

Filed Under: Heart Health, General Health, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 03/22/2014

Eating Healthier By Avoiding These 10 Foods

As a cardiologist, I’m often asked if there are certain foods that should be on the “do not eat” list. I’d have to say yes, and no. Yes, there are several foods that you should avoid most of the time—since they can wreak havoc on both your heart and your health in general.

But you don’t have to avoid them all the time when eating healthier. Instead, these are foods you should limit yourself to eating about three or four times a year—for example, when you’re at a Yankee game (at least that’s my favorite team), NFL football game or at the beach on vacation.

So what are the foods you should avoid—at least most of the time?

Foods To (Mostly) Avoid When Eating Healthier

  1. Dill pickles and olives. Both of these foods are loaded with sodium—in fact, a single dill pickle contains a whopping 1,400 mg! If you love pickles, check your health-food store for low sodium, or preferably no sodium, varieties.

  2. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This insidious sugar contributes to a whole host of cardiovascular problems—come back to my blog on Monday, and I’ll tell you exactly why. For eating healthier, look at food labels, especially soda, and if it contains HFCS pass it up.

  3. Hot dogs. They’re loaded with nitrates, nitrites and salt. If you love hotdogs too much to avoid them, I suggest opting for nitrite-free organic hot dogs.

  4. Deep-fried foods. They’re loaded with trans-fatty, artery-clogging fats. For example with fish and chips, the deep frying completely negates the healing power of fish. A study showed that eating healthier, with more than five servings of baked or broiled fish per week, lowered risk by 30 percent. However, eating more than one serving of fried fish per week increased risk by 48 percent!

  5. Flame-broiled fast-food chicken. Most contain over 1,200 mg of sodium, which is way more than anyone should eat in a single meal.

  6. White flour. It spikes your blood sugar. When eating healthier, opt for whole wheat.

  7. SugarAgain, it spikes your blood sugar. If you want to sweeten your coffee or tea, opt for ribose or Stevia instead.

  8. Veal. It’s one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat, and inflammation is at the root of heart disease.

  9. Dehydrated soups. They’re loaded with sodium.

  10. Sherbet. Many people opt for sherbet over ice cream thinking it equals eating healthier. But you’re better off with the ice cream since it contains fat which slows down your insulin response.

Now it’s your turn: Have you find a healthier alternative to any of these foods?

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DISCLAIMER: The content of is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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