You do your best to eat right and fit in some regular exercise. But if you’re still eating one of the following eight foods your heart doc wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, you may be undoing all the hard work you’ve put into your heart health.
Apples are packed to the peel with good for you nutrients including antioxidants, flavonoids and fiber. Unfortunately most of those benefits get lost in the sweetened, highly processed applesauce you get at most grocery stores. Many folks reach for applesauce to snack on thinking it’s a healthy choice, but with so little fiber, and far too much added sugar, there’s little nutritional value left. Stick to eating apples, or make your own, unsweetened, applesauce at home.
Although they’re slowly being phased out, nondairy coffee creamers are still a source of heart-harming trans fats. And, of course, just because the label doesn’t list them doesn’t mean they’re not there. Nutrition labels can claim 0 grams of trans fats when a product contains up to .4 grams per serving. By the time you’ve had 3 cups of coffee over the course of a day, you’ve gotten more than an entire gram of one of the worst possible fats for your heart. Scan the label for hydrogenated oils, which are a red flag for trans fats. Or better yet, just skip the artificial stuff and use a splash of half and half instead.
Margarines were sold to us for years as a heart-healthy alternative to butter. Unfortunately the opposite is true. Sticks of margarine are a common source of heart harming trans fats. And although some spreadable margarines don’t contain trans fats they’re often made with unhealthy vegetable oils. Use real butter in moderation instead. Or consider switching to a heart healthy fat like organic cold-pressed olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil.
Where do we even begin with this one? These blood sugar bombs have no nutritional value and they’re loaded with refined flours, sugars and artificial ingredients. Store bought pastries and cakes are also currently a common source of harmful trans fats. And even after the trans fat ban kicks in next year this junk will continue to be a nutritional and heart harming disaster.
The truth is there’s nothing healthy about a chip. Don’t be fooled by ones made from other root vegetables, either. Because no matter whether you’re eating a traditional potato chip or a sweet potato or taro chip, once it’s been peeled, processed and fried any nutritional benefit the original vegetable would have brought to the table is long gone. A regular chip habit can cause you to pack on the pounds putting a strain on your heart.
Yes, they’re convenient. But even the so-called “healthy” frozen meals still have outrageously high junk sodium levels, artificial flavors, and so many preservatives it’s hard to find any resemblance to the original food. Do your heart a favor and eat real, fresh-cooked food instead.
Sugar is linked to heart muscle damage and heart disease, and soft drinks are swimming in the stuff. In fact, a single can of soda has more sugar than the average woman is supposed to have in an entire day! And the high fructose corn syrup found in soft drinks has been found in animal studies to cause even greater weight gain than other types of sugars.
Your body sees very little difference between white bread and table sugar. Which means just like sugar a regular white bread habit can lead to obesity, inflammation and insulin issues. So it doesn’t do you—or your heart—much good to cut back on sugar if you’re still eating refined white flour. Sadly, whole wheat flour isn’t much better. It’s been so refined and processed that by the time it’s in your bread it might as well be the white stuff. Stick with whole grain breads, for a heart healthier carb.
You don’t need to follow your heart doctor to the grocery store to make the right choices for your heart health. Just drop these eight foods heart docs refuse to eat from your diet and make your heart happy.