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. 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?
- 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.
- 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. Look at food labels, especially soda, and if it contains HFCS pass it up.
- 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 hotdogs.
- 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 more than 5 servings of baked or broiled fish per week lowered risk by 30 percent. However, eating more than 1 serving of fried fish per week increased risk by 48 percent!
- 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.
- White flour. It spikes your blood sugar. Instead opt for whole wheat.
- Sugar. Again, it spikes your blood sugar. If you want to sweeten your coffee or tea, opt for ribose or Stevia instead.
- Veal. It’s one of the most inflammatory foods you can eat, and inflammation is at the root of heart disease.
- Dehydrated soups. They’re loaded with sodium.
- . Sherbet. Many people opt for sherbet over ice cream thinking it’s 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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