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Fast food is rich in ingredients that are unhealthy for your heart.
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Foods that are high in sodium, refined flours, added sugar, and fats (saturated fat and trans fat) affect your heart health. They increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
1. Processed meats
Processed meats have a number of detrimental effects on your body. They are high in sodium. Sodium contributes to high blood pressure, increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to Harvard researchers, a daily serving of 50 grams of processed meat (1-2 slices of cold cuts or 1 hot dog) is associated with a 42% increased risk of developing heart disease and a 19% risk of developing diabetes.
2. Fast food
Fast food is rich in ingredients that are unhealthy for your heart, sodium, sugar, and fat. Pizza, buns, burritos, tacos and cold cuts are among the six most popular salty foods according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
The AHA notes that One slice of pepperoni pizza can contain almost a third of the recommended daily sodium. But some slices have as much as 1600 mg of sodium. The World Health Organization recommends consuming less than 2 grams of sodium a day.
3. Fatty meats, butter and fried food
Eating foods that contain saturated fat raises the level of cholesterol in the blood. High levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Foods that contain large amounts of saturated fat include red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream. Also, many baked and fried products they can contain high levels of saturated fat.
Trans fats are harmful even when eaten in small amounts. These fats increase total cholesterol levels in the blood and also lower good cholesterol. They are mainly found in processed foods made with trans fats from partially hydrogenated oil.
4. Sodas and other sugary drinks
Sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugar in the diet. These include sodas, fruit punch, lemonade, sweetened powdered drinks, as well as sports and energy drinks.
Routine consumption of these beverages promotes weight gain and can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.
The AHA recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for most women and no more than 9 teaspoons for most men.
5. Sugary cereal, bread and cookies
White bread, cakes, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods. These items contain easily digestible carbohydrates that can contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, and promote diabetes and heart disease.
Always check the labels
One way to avoid heart-unhealthy food is to always read food labels and stay away from items that have added sugar, excess sodium, and fat.
The AHA recommends choose lean meats with less than 10 percent fat. Planning your meals in advance and having healthy snacks also reduces the chance that you will turn to fast food from restaurants or snacks that are not beneficial to your body.
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