As a result of my husband’s heart attack five months ago, we’ve had a crash course in both heart-healthy and health-zapping foods. Recently, I posted some of the best foods you can eat to help maintain a healthy heart. Today, I’m focusing on the culprits.
It’s unfortunate that many of the least-healthy foods for our hearts are also the most common and easily accessible. Oh, and the cheapest, at least in the short term. They’re definitely not the cheapest when you factor in the practical costs of healthcare following a heart attack.
Here’s a quick and dirty list of what my husband’s heart doctors told us to avoid:
- Trans-fats (Look for the terms “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated fat or oil” in the list of ingredients.)
- Saturated fats (These are most often of animal origin and are found in items like butter and fatty cuts of meat.)
- Excessive salt (It’s in many processed foods.)
- Added sugars (The list of ingredients will often include corn sweetener or syrup, honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, malt sugar and syrup and sugar molecules ending in “ose,” including dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose and sucrose.)
- Refined carbohydrates (Things like bagels and cookies.)
- Processed meats
- Red meat
- Fried foods
- Sugary sodas
- Fast food in general
As you can see from the list, these types of foods are on every street corner and the aisles of every grocery store in the country. They can be hard to avoid, but not impossible. Unfortunately, this means that consumers have to adopt a “buyer beware” attitude and read the ingredient labels on the food products they purchase.
If you’re interested in learning more about heart-healthy foods, visit the American Heart Association website.