Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Items cardiologists avoid for heart health



Insights from cardiologists on foods to minimize for a healthier heart

Maintaining a healthy heart involves making informed dietary choices. Renowned cardiologists share insights into the foods they actively avoid to promote cardiovascular well-being. Leigh Weingus delves into their recommendations to provide a comprehensive understanding of the foods cardiologists suggest minimizing for a heart-healthy lifestyle.

1. Chopped Liver

Chopped Liver
  • Expert Insight: Dr. Eleanor Levin, a distinguished cardiologist at Stanford University, underscores the avoidance of liver consumption. The liver, being red meat high in fat, especially saturated and trans fats, raises concerns. Dr. Levin highlights that saturated fat, notorious for adverse effects on the heart, can also contribute to osteoporosis. The liver’s role as a toxin filter adds an extra layer of concern, emphasizing the need to exclude it from the diet.

2. Breakfast Sausages

Breakfast Sausages
  • Expert Insight: Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, a respected cardiologist based in Minneapolis, advises against breakfast sausages. These seemingly innocuous morning staples are high in sodium, contributing to elevated blood pressure, and are rich sources of saturated fats, known to raise cholesterol levels. Dr. Klodas notes that processed meats, including sausages, ham, and bacon, have received a carcinogen classification from the World Health Organization, urging caution in their consumption.

3. Margarine

  • Expert Insight: Dr. Harmony Reynold, a seasoned cardiologist at NYU Langone Health, dispels the notion that margarine is a healthier alternative to butter. She cites a study linking margarine consumption to a 6% increased likelihood of mortality over 16 years. In contrast, olive oil, associated with a 4% lower risk of death per tablespoon, emerges as a preferable choice. Dr. Reynold advocates using olive oil whenever possible and suggests combining it with a small pat of butter for flavor when necessary.

4. Steak

  • Expert Insight: Dr. Leonard Lilly, Chief of Cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, advises against the consumption of highly marbleized steak. Clinical studies indicate that the consumption of saturated fats, prevalent in fatty red meats, correlates with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. Dr. Lilly acknowledges the occasional indulgence but stresses the importance of limiting such foods for overall healthy heart.

5. Bacon

  • Expert Insight: Dr. Francoise Marvel, a distinguished cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University, sheds light on the pitfalls of bacon consumption. Bacon, characterized as highly processed red meat, is laden with saturated fats, raising low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, associated with heightened risks of heart attack and stroke. The curing process involving salts, sugars, and nitrates further adds health concerns, linking bacon consumption to increased blood pressure and fluid retention.

6. Deep-Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken
  • Expert Insight: Dr. Sanjay Maniar, a reputable cardiologist based in Houston, discourages the regular consumption of deep-fried chicken. Fried foods contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke due to elevated saturated and trans fats. Dr. Maniar suggests alternatives like grilling or baking chicken with fresh herbs to retain flavor while minimizing caloric intake.

7. Doughnuts

  • Expert Insight: Dr. Jayne Morgan, a cardiologist based in Atlanta, advises moderation when it comes to doughnut consumption. Many doughnuts are fried in oils containing trans fats, adversely affecting heart health by raising cholesterol levels and blood sugar. Dr. Morgan encourages reading labels to identify trans fats, often disguised as partially hydrogenated oils, and advocates for mindful indulgence in doughnuts, emphasizing the importance of moderation.

8. Bologna

  • Expert Insight: Dr. James Udelson, Chief of Cardiology at Tufts Medical Center, views bologna as a symbol of foods to be avoided. Highly processed meats, such as bologna, with their high salt content, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Udelson emphasizes the importance of following the American Heart Association’s recommended Mediterranean-style diet, rich in vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meats, for optimal heart health.

In summary, while occasional indulgence in these foods may not pose an immediate threat, cardiologists emphasize the need to minimize their intake for sustained heart health. Adopting a diet aligned with the American Heart Association’s recommendations, which emphasizes a Mediterranean-style approach, proves beneficial for cardiovascular well-being.


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