(Natural News) Food brings joy to a lot of people. However, it can also cause a significant amount of trouble, especially when the wrong foods are consumed.
The heart is one of the most vulnerable organs when it comes to the harmful effects of food. What’s even more unfortunate is that most of the foods that increase the risk of heart disease, which often have high cholesterol and fat content, are loved and consumed by many people. Some examples of these foods include the following:
- Fried chicken — Fried foods are delicious but the process of making them creates harmful trans fats that increase the concentration of bad cholesterol while lowering the good kind. Fried chicken has inherently high levels of cholesterol that can block blood vessels and trigger heart disease.
- Sausages — Each sausage is packed not just with fats and cholesterol but with sodium as well. Previous studies have shown that high salt intake is bad for cardiovascular health since it can increase blood pressure and the body’s ability to retain fluid. According to the American Heart Association, the average American should get at most 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. Consider this when eating sausages since two-ounces of this food contains, on average, 688 milligrams of sodium.
- Cheesecake — The delicious cheesecake is loved by many but each serving of this decadent dessert can have significant repercussions on your heart. A slice of cheesecake contains a whopping 18 grams of fat, with a huge portion of this accounting for unhealthy saturated fats that raise cholesterol levels and consequently increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Steak — Countless studies have concluded that eating red meat is bad for cardiovascular health since it is rich in saturated fats and cholesterol. Moreover, steak is rich in L-carnitine, which is converted by the body into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). This compound increases the risk of blood clots and the formation of plaques in the arteries that block blood flow.
- Burgers — Burgers are some of the most convenient food to eat. Unfortunately, they’re also major contributors to heart disease since they are rich in calories, cholesterol, saturated fats, and salt. Studies have shown that the intake of salt-rich foods increases the risk of dying due to heart disease by up to 61 percent.
- Pizza — Like all the other foods on this list, pizza is also rich in fats and calories. Additionally, this junk food is low in fiber, which is important for maintaining heart health. This nutrient reduces the risk of heart disease by reducing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
- Ice cream — This cold treat is not as enjoyable when you think about its high sugar and fat content. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reveals that too much sugar stresses and inflicts damage on the heart, causing it to gradually function less efficiently. (Related: Scientists were paid to downplay link between sugar and heart disease, told to blame saturated fats instead.)
- Pasta — Pasta contains high levels of saturated fats, sodium, and calories. Moreover, it is rich in carbohydrates that contribute to the development of metabolic diseases that increase the risk of heart disease.
To reduce your risk of heart disease, you can also go for foods that improve heart health. Generally, these foods are rich in healthy fatty acids and have low levels of cholesterol, fats, and sodium. Some specific examples of heart-healthy foods include the following:
- Olive oil
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Organic dairy products
For more articles on how you can take care of your heart, visit Heart.news.