If you are trying to live a long, healthy life, you are probably concerned about keeping your heart healthy and looking for ways to do just that.
As you can imagine, your diet plays a big role, some types of food benefiting you and helping you protect this vital organ.
However, there are some foods cardiologists recommend avoiding as well since they are quite detrimental to the human heart.
Naturally, you don’t need to be an expert to know things like sugary and junk food are bad for you, but what about other popular choices most people don’t think about?
Here are some of them, why they should be avoided if you want a healthy heart and what you should replace them with!
- Granola Bars
This might be a surprising entry on this list since granola bars sound healthy and are part of many weight loss diets.
However, most of them contain a lot more than just oats, fruits and nuts.
Unfortunately, they are also filled with added sugar, artificial sweeteners and many other bad ingredients.
As a replacement, you should go for raw nuts!
They are satisfying enough on their own but if you want something that feels more like a breakfast meal, try overnight oats with some fresh or dried fruits and nuts as toppings.
Many of the brands on the market are made with palm oil, which is high in saturated fats that will contribute to your high cholesterol.
The good news is that if you’re a fan of margarine, there are healthier alternatives made from flax or olive oil, which contain little to no trans or saturated fats.
Bread and baked goods in general tend to contribute most of the sodium in our diets.
As you may or may not know, high sodium consumption will cause high blood pressure which is one of the worst risk factors for heart disease.
For instance, just a plain bagel may contain 500 mg of sodium, which accounts for around a third of the daily recommendation by the American Heart Association.
Furthermore, the refined flour it’s made out of can cause blood sugar spikes.
As a replacement for the fiber content, try to pick bread with visible seeds and grains in each slice and make sure you get at least 3 grams of fiber for every 100 calories consumed.