March 28, 2013
By Betty Murray
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. More than 2,150 Americans die from heart disease every day, according to the American Heart Association. Eating a heart healthy diet full of foods that help to lower cholesterol and keep blood pressure regulated is essential for fending off heart disease, but it is only part of the equation.
While many people know what foods and nutrients are good for the heart, such as omega-3 fatty acids, soy protein, fiber and antioxidants, the foods that are bad for your heart are lesser-known.
Foods high in cholesterol, bad fats and high sodium can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Even if you eat plenty of foods that are rich in heart healthy nutrients, if you are also consuming foods full of sodium and bad fats, you are still at risk of developing heart disease.
Three worst foods for your heart:
Red meat, such as steak, is high in saturated fat. Though rich in protein, meat, especially processed meat, is one of the unhealthiest foods for your heart. If you do eat meat, choose lean meat and only eat it as a treat. Moderation is key. According to the USDA, lean meat contains less than 10 grams of total fat and 4.5 grams of saturated fat.
Even lean cuts of processed meat are loaded with sodium and preservatives. Processing food reduces the quality of the nutrients in those foods, increasing saturated fat and lowering protein. Processed meats have also been linked to a diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
One slice of pizza could contain as much as two thirds of your daily recommended limit of saturated fat. The American Heart Associations recommends now more than seven percent of daily calories come from saturated fat — on a 2,000 calorie diet, that comes to 15 grams of saturated fat per day.
For a heart healthy diet, focus on eating foods that are good for your heart, while cutting out foods that can lead to heart disease.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.