Bad food for heart health

Foods that can damage your heart


Junk food is very harmful to health and to the heart. One of the reasons why it is harmful is because of its content in trans fats and vegetable oils of poor quality. Bad fat accumulates in the heart and in visceral fat, worsening heart function and producing fatty liver. This only happens with the bad quality fat.

We should also reduce to the maximum pastry, industrial bakery, cookies and other ultraprocessed, because they are rich in added sugars, flour, salt, lack of potassium, and fats of poor quality as those mentioned above. (trans fats and saturated fats)

Minimizing food containing saturated fats

childhood obesity

Drawing of childhood obesity, courtesy of ©Dibujosparapintar

Sausages are not considered healthy food

We should avoid to the maximum consumption of fatty foods of animal origin, rich in saturated fats because they increase the levels of low density cholesterol (LDL) and promote obesity.

Fatty meat, butter, whole milk and dairy products (cheese, cream, yogurt, whole curds) should be replaced by other protein sources, such as legumes and dried fruits or nuts. Vegetable oils, as olive oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oils will replace the animal fat in the kitchen. Eggs are high in cholesterol and should be consumed as little as possible.

If you do not want to eliminate the meat completely, it is best to eat lean meat such as chicken, or consume the oily fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon, tuna, etc.).

This type of food is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids which reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL), so, they thin the blood.

We recommend three meals a week of oily fish for those people presenting some type of heart disease. (See more information on cholesterol)

Junk food substitutes

Instead, it will be better to make original recipes with the healthy foods that we recommend, because, in addition to providing calories, they offer us vitamins, minerals and other components necessary for good health.

There are many healthy recipe options for special days without these harmful components: flavored homemade yogurt, fruit and chocolate skewers, chocolate and fruit dolls for children, fruit salad with cinnamon, chia pudding with red berries, yogurt with muesli, yogurt with fruit, etc

Sugar and heart health

A diet rich in sugars is not suitable for the heart. An excess of calories can cause obesity, as well as favor the appearance of cholesterol and triglycerides. Therefore it is recommended to avoid excessive consumption of sugary foods, as well as nectars, juices or fruit juices.

Cholesterol and heart health

We should avoid to the maximum the consumption of fatty foods of animal origin that are not healthy, because they increase the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and favor the obesity. Fat meat, butter, cream, etc. They should be substituted by other sources of proteins and fats, such as legumes, avocados and nuts.

Salt and heart health

Abusing salt is not suitable for the heart. You should avoid foods rich in salt, such as sausages, deli meats or canned food, either animal or vegetable, which contain salt, have a lot of sodium.

Important: You must use more herbs than salt!

Avoid the excessive consumption of spirits

A moderate alcohol consumption can improve circulation, but a high consumption increases to the heart rate and blood pressure.

Avoid the excessive consumption of fruits and fruit juices

Fruits are highly recommended because, as well as carbohydrates, they contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential for health. However, a too high and continued use of this group of foods can cause increased cholesterol and triglycerides with the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Avoid the consumption of stimulating substances

Caffeine should be limited to the fullest because it can cause arrhythmias due to its stimulating effects. Therefore, people with heart problems should avoid drinking coffee, tea, colas or other carbonated beverages containing it.

Tobacco and heart health

Tobacco is extremely detrimental to heart health. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that decreases the thickness of the arteries and coronary vessels, increases heart rate and blood pressure.

Moreover, carbon monoxide prevents proper oxygenation of the cells and alters the walls of the arteries.

Tobacco is responsible for many cases of heart attacks, or angina pectoris. Heart failure is more frequent in smokers. The habit of smoking is one of the main causes of circulatory system diseases such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, cardiac insufficiency, etc.

Stress and heart health

Stress influences negatively in the health of the heart. Avoiding situations that bring about stress and applying relaxation techniques is a good way to take care of this organ.

This includes:

  • Quiet life
  • It may be advisable to perform some relaxing activity.
  • Avoid stressful situations, and this includes sports competitions on television that generate a lot of adrenaline to the viewer

Related information:

Vegetables for a healthy heart

Good fats for the heart

Healthy heart foods

punto rojoMore information on the heart and its natural treatment.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

5 May, 2022

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