Don't Eat These 10 Foods If You Want A Healthy Heart, Eat These 10 Instead

Don't Eat These 10 Foods If You Want A Healthy Heart, Eat These 10 Instead

The world is full of delicious food, and while plenty of it is fine as the odd indulgence, over-consumption can cause serious damage to your heart. To ensure you’re around for decades to come, swap out these 10 harmful foods for these 10 heart-smart alternatives.

1. Fast Food

The taste and convenience of fast food lure millions every year, but it’s worth keeping tabs on just how detrimental frequent trips are to your heart. Popular items like pizza and burgers are loaded with salt, fat, and high calories that all do a number on your ticker. Regular consumption leads to weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease.

Brett-Jordan-Zee1Gezy6H0-UnsplashPhoto by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

2. Fried Foods

Deep-fried items like fish and chips, mozzarella sticks, french fries, and fried chicken often contain unhealthy fats and calories. If fried food is a main attraction in your diet, not only are you looking at the increased risk of heart disease, but weight gain and elevated cholesterol levels, too.

Paras-Kapoor-Sq1Vuoxsizc-UnsplashPhoto by Paras Kapoor on Unsplash

3. Canned Soup

It seems like a good idea at first glance, but canned soup comes with high sodium levels. So high, in fact, that regular consumption can lead to an elevated risk of heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure.

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4. Cereal

We’re not talking about the whole grain variety—we’re talking about the ones loaded with sugar and calories. Sugar-filled cereal lacks the fiber and nutrients you need for a balanced diet, it also leaves you susceptible to high blood sugar and inflammation. Both are bad news for your heart.

Isabella-Fischer-Uex8Wkrdqge-UnsplashPhoto by Isabella Fischer on Unsplash


5. Excessive Alcohol

There’s ultimately no glaring issue with a glass of wine at dinner or a beer during the game. But consume too much alcohol and you could easily experience high blood pressure, heart failure, and an increased risk of stroke.

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6. Processed Meats

Bacon, sausage, and hot dogs are all prime examples of processed meats loaded with saturated fats, sodium, and preservatives. Eat them regularly and you could see higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which hurt heart health.

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7. Soda

A soda here or there won’t cause significant heart damage, but regular consumption will. Packed with added sugar, soda can lead to insulin resistance, elevated risk of heart disease, and weight gain.  

Leighann-Blackwood-40Iptrhmnhw-UnsplashPhoto by Leighann Blackwood on Unsplash

8. Instant Noodles

A quick and easy staple, instant noodles are full of sodium and unhealthy fats that can cause weight gain and high blood pressure. They’ve also been linked to a greater chance of heart and stroke disease.

Fernando-Andrade-Sei3Apr6Vys-UnsplashPhoto by Fernando Andrade on Unsplash

9. Creamy Dressings

A spoonful of Ceasar makes the greens go down…and increases the risk of obesity and heart disease. Creamy salad dressings are typically packed with unhealthy fats and calories, neither of which do your heart any favors.

Chris-Tweten-Fk-Uknip0Pe-UnsplashPhoto by Chris Tweten on Unsplash

10. Frozen Dinners

Frozen meals come chock-full of preservatives, sodium, and unhealthy fats. They often don’t have the nutrients you need and regular consumption can easily lead to an increased risk of heart disease. It’s best to consume these in moderation and pay attention to the ingredients because some brands are better than others.

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Now let’s look at some food options that help keep your heart in check.


1. Fatty Fish

Options like mackerel, salmon, and sardines are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health. Incorporate these aquatic items into your diet for reduced inflammation and a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Melanie-Andersen-Bzpldtqsswu-UnsplashPhoto by Melanie Andersen on Unsplash

2. Avocado

Avocadoes are full of healthy fats and vitamins like C, E, and B6. They’re also packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Including avocadoes in your diet lowers your risk of heart disease and can also regulate blood pressure.

Thought-Catalog-9Aoswredkpo-UnsplashPhoto by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

3. Whole Grains

Your doctor has probably told you that white bread can be bad news. Whole grains, on the other hand, are the healthy alternative that keeps your heart happy. Oats, quinoa, and brown rice are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Melissa-Di-Rocco-Capcnn41Fny-UnsplashPhoto by Melissa Di Rocco on Unsplash

4. Berries

Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are delicious snacks rich with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Include them as part of your everyday diet to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and promote heart health.

Debby-Hudson-Bncmqyvviji-UnsplashPhoto by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

5. Nuts

Nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pistachios all boast healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Eating them as a snack can lower cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy. Be aware, though, that they’re often high in calories, so they’re best enjoyed in moderation.

Pavel-Kalenik-Ql Swytd1C4-UnsplashPhoto by Pavel Kalenik on Unsplash

6. Dark Chocolate

Good news, chocolate-lovers! Dark chocolate is a long-known healthy alternative to its milk chocolate cousin. The dark stuff has a high cocoa content that’s packed with flavonoids, an antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow to your heart and brain.

Amirali-Mirhashemian-Rcvilsxhyi0-UnsplashPhoto by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash


7. Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, broccoli, and chard are low-calorie options full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins—particularly vitamin K, a vitamin well-known for helping the heart. Leafy greens’ nutrients also reduce cholesterol and the risk of cancer.

Chiara-Conti-4Ty1Uoj5Lg4-UnsplashPhoto by chiara conti on Unsplash

8. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is high in protein, vitamins, and calcium, making it one of the top foods for overall health. Not only has it been linked to lower blood pressure, Greek yogurt can also aid with gut health and promotes strong bones.

Fabio-Alves-Fhrowi5Pp20-UnsplashPhoto by Fábio Alves on Unsplash

9. Legumes

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all high in fiber and protein. Including them into your diet keeps your cholesterol in check and regulates blood sugar levels.

Engin-Akyurt-Dpb7Dwhnv5I-UnsplashPhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash

10. Tomatoes

A fruit rich in potassium and antioxidants, tomatoes have especially high levels of lycopene, which has been linked to heart health and even cancer prevention. They’re a solid way to maintain good blood pressure and a healthy heart.

Alex-Ghizila-Ud J10Skj5G-UnsplashPhoto by Alex Ghizila on Unsplash