5 foods a cardiologist recommends you avoid for a healthy heart

5 foods a cardiologist recommends you avoid for a healthy heart

The next time you take a sip of a sugary soda or take a bite of a sandwich filled with processed meat, you might want to think of your heart. It’s important to avoid certain foods that can have an impact on your long-term heart health.

“A healthy diet isn’t just for people who have health issues. Everyone should be conscious of their diet to proactively prevent health challenges,” says Dr. William Cotts, a cardiologist affiliated with Advocate Health Care.

He suggests avoiding the following foods to decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and prevent hypertension, weight gain, lipid abnormalities and elevated glucose levels:

1. Foods high in saturated fat, like red meat

2. Foods with added sugar, such as sweetened soft drinks

3. Foods with high salt content

4. Processed foods, such as white bread

5. Alcohol

Consuming these foods in moderation is okay and isn’t likely to affect your health long-term, but eating these foods daily can lead to health issues. As an alternative, Dr. Cotts encourages you to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish – all of which are heart-friendly.

“If you are concerned about your risk of heart disease, watching your weight and monitoring for elevated blood sugar can help you track your health,” Dr. Cotts says. “Having a healthy diet and getting the recommended amount of exercise can significantly aid you in the long run.”

The average adult should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week, according to the American Heart Association.

He also advises regular visits with a primary care provider and possibly a cardiologist for any heart-related health risks.

Want to learn more about your risk for heart disease? Take a free online quiz.

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