According to the American Heart Association, heart failure is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking more than 365,000 lives in 2018—more than all forms of cancer and Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease combined. Although certain people are genetically predisposed to cardiac failure, there are a plethora of modifiable factors that will help reduce the chances of developing a heart attack in the future, like making dietary improvements now. If you want to lower the risk of heart failure or heart disease, avoid these food items from your diet as soon as possible.
While it should come as no surprise that fried foods, such as fried chicken and French fries, are bad for your waistline, you may be surprised by how bad they are for your heart. Fried food intake was strongly associated with the occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD), a common risk factor for heart attacks, according to a 2014 report published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. As compared to people who consumed fried foods less than once a week, those who ate fried food four to six days a week had a 23 per cent greater chance of coronary artery disease.
Limited levels of added sugar aren’t dangerous, but a can of soda has more added sugar than doctors prescribe for an entire day. Soda drinkers are more likely to gain weight, become obese, and gain type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Although the evidence on diet drinks is still vague, some study has related them to weight gain and strokes. Pure, carbonated, or unsweetened filtered water is your best option.
Limiting your red meat intake is a safe way to start if you want to preserve your heart. A research released in the BMJ in 2020 tracked 43,272 adult men without cardiovascular disease at the outset of the study for 30 years and found that eating one serving of red meat per day was related to a 12 percent elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
Cookies and muffins can be saved for special events. They’re typically high in added sugar, which contributes to weight gain. Higher triglyceride levels have also been linked to obesity, which can lead to heart disease. White flour is typically the main ingredient, which will increase your blood sugar and leave you hungry. Make your own nutritious snacks by Replace the butter or shortening with whole-wheat flour, reduce the sugar, and use liquid plant oils instead of butter.
Reduce the salt (sodium) in your food
High blood pressure, a risk factor for heart failure, may be caused by consuming so much salt. Salt (sodium) restriction is an essential component of a heart-healthy diet. According to the American Heart Association,
- A healthy adult should eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (about a teaspoon of salt)
- Plan for no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day for most adults.
While reducing the amount of salt you apply to food at the table or when cooking is a good start, canned or packaged foods like soups, baked goods, and frozen dinners contain a lot of salt. Salt consumption can be reduced by eating new foods and preparing your own soups and stews.