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10 heart healthy foods


What you eat will greatly affect your heart health. Studies have shown that certain foods can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce inflammation and fight plaque formation. However, about 600000 people die from heart disease every year in the United States: that's a quarter of the deaths, making heart disease the leading cause of death for men and women. Whole grains, high-fat fish, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables are the main foods of healthy diet. But what happens when you think "heart healthy" food is not healthy at all? Is oatmeal good for you in fast food restaurants? How about the packaged salad in the convenience store? Don't be fooled by these 10 less heart healthy foods, but focus on better choices.

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1. Turkey bacon


adding the word "turkey" to Bacon is obviously a healthy improvement in real life, but reading nutrition labels is still the key. " Although its fat and calories are lower than normal bacon, turkey bacon usually contains more sodium. Choosing a low sodium turkey bacon is still a better choice for bacon, "said Lori Zanini, a spokesman for the school of nutrition and nutrition. The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium intake to maintain healthy blood pressure. Another thing to note is that although turkey bacon is slimmer than normal bacon, it still belongs to the category of "processed meat", because they contain a lot of sodium and other food additives, which may have health risks. "It's important to limit all processed meat in your diet, such as sausages, bacon and hot dogs, even if they are considered thinner or more natural," says Zanini. Red wine

has a reputation as a heart healthy dinner partner, so a recent study published in the British Medical Journal found the opposite, which is surprising. " The researchers analyzed 56 studies (26, 991 people) and found that the less you drink, the better your cardiovascular health, "said Caroline Kaufman, M.M., RDN, a nutrition expert in Los Angeles and the boss of Caroline Kaufman nutrition. More specifically, the researchers found that there was a gene that made drinking uncomfortable (blushing), so people who tended to drink less or quit completely had a lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who did not have the gene variant and tended to drink more. " Because this is not a randomized controlled trial and it looks at people with a certain gene, we cannot assume that the results apply to the entire population. So if you like red wine, continue to enjoy it moderately, but not just for heart health, "Kaufman added. Now let's listen: Angela Davis of soulcycle shares how to kill red wine in spinning lessons and life. There is a lot of evidence that eating oatmeal can reduce the level of total cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The study was so powerful that in 1997, the FDA gave it the status of a "health statement," allowing manufacturers to promote the benefits of heart health on boxes of oatmeal and other products. But how does a packaged oatmeal snack compare to a real deal? " Although oatmeal is the best friend of the heart, processed oatmeal, such as breakfast biscuits and cereal bars, tends to overload arteries, "said Caroline Kaufman, M.M., RDN. For example, a popular oatmeal breakfast cookie contains more calories, sodium and sugar than a packaged chocolate cookie, and contains trans fats that block arteries, "Kaufman added. Read the label and remove products that contain sugar and unhealthy ingredients, including instant oatmeal packaging. Your best choice is still true: eat a bowl of oatmeal with something good for your heart, such as chopped nuts, fresh berries or cinnamon and apple slices.

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4. Prepared salads

although the word "salad" may sound like a nutritious choice, the fact is that when you buy prepared salads, their nutritional composition may be very different, which is honorable or often shameful. Because of the high content of mayonnaise, chicken salad, tuna salad and seafood salad usually contain fat and calories, "said Caroline Kaufman, MD. A tuna salad with 30 grams or more of fat is no surprise. " Pay attention to low-fat and nonfat salad dressings, which usually contain high fructose corn syrup, which can cause serious damage to your heart, "Kaufman added. Prepared salads can also contain very high amounts of sodium, sometimes in a single salad for a day. However, heart healthy salads do exist - the challenge is that you can read a label. A good guide is to choose a salad with more fiber (at least 5g) and less fat (no more than 10g).

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5. Granola and granola bars

oatmeal rolls, nuts, dried fruits and honey - granola may be one of the first "healthy" foods to hit the market. But how bright is the health aura when you see the label? " "Granola and granola bars tend to be low fiber and high in sugar," says Lori Zanini of RDN. If you want to eat cereal, nuts are a good choice for heart health. " Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating most 1.5 ounces of nuts a day, such as pistachios and almonds, is part of a low nutritional diet in South Australia. Saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease. Whether it's cereals or nuts, controlling the portion size is also the key to a healthy diet. A third to a half cup of cereal and a quarter cup of nuts are equivalent to 23 almonds or 49 pistachios.

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6. Do not be afraid of fat. Skimming doesn't necessarily mean less calories or better nutrition, in some cases, it may mean the opposite. " When food producers remove fat from dairy products such as yogurt, they have to replace it with something - usually sugar. All of this increased sugar, like a sweet tsunami, hits your blood, stimulates blood sugar and insulin levels, which over time increases your risk of type 2 diabetes - a major risk for heart disease.Risk factors. In addition, fat in dairy products may not play a role in heart disease as we once thought. No matter what the fat content of yoghurt is, it is necessary to limit those yoghurt added with sugar or artificial sweetener. Your best choice is to mix fresh fruit or nuts with plain yogurt, which is really good for your heart.

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7. Low fat peanut butter is not necessarily better than ordinary peanut butter, especially for the heart. " Because regular peanut butter naturally contains healthy monounsaturated fats, this means that it helps reduce harmful (LDL) cholesterol, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. In order to make low-fat peanut butter varieties, heart healthy fat was reduced by 25%, and sugar was added instead. The two varieties have similar calorie content. According to the American Heart Association, adding too much sugar to your diet is bad for your heart. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Internal Medicine found that those who gained 17 to 21 percent of their calories from sugar were 38 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who consumed 8 percent of their calories from sugar. " "Look for varieties that contain only" peanuts "and" salt, "Zanini said. Margarine

should you eat margarine, butter or something better? " We used to think that margarine made of partially hydrogenated oil (or trans fat) would protect us from the harm of saturated fat in butter. Instead, we learned that trans fats cause artery thickening, stiffness, and plaque clogging by raising bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowering good cholesterol (HDL). But you don't need to avoid all margarine. For heart health, choose no more than two grams of saturated fat and trans fat free margarine. Be sure to check the ingredients on the nutrition label, as the advertised "0 g trans fatty acid" margarine may be as high as 0.5g. Better yet, top your toast or sandwich with avocado cream or a drop of olive oil. Avocado and olive oil are rich in heart healthy unsaturated fats, naturally free of sodium, trans fats and cholesterol, "Kaufman said. Is protein bar good for heart? Usually not. " Many protein bars are actually candy bars in disguise. Be careful of protein bars that contain some hydrogenated (or trans fat) chocolate. Trans fats put the heart at risk in two ways - increasing bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowering good cholesterol (HDL). Protein bars can also be highly processed and added with sugar. Zanini recommends protein bars with at least 3 grams of fiber, no trans fat, and less than 8 grams of sugar. She also suggests looking for bars with the least ingredients that you can pronounce to help you avoid highly processed bars. Also pay attention to calories: some foods contain more than 350 calories. Unless you are an athlete who needs extra calories, choose a bar with no more than 200 calories.

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10. Coffee drinks

you may have heard conflicting suggestions about coffee and heart health. A 2014 meta-analysis published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that light to moderate coffee intake (1 to 3 cups per day) was associated with a reduced risk of death from a variety of causes, particularly for women. In addition, a small study in Japan shows that caffeine in coffee can relieve heart pressure by improving the function of small blood vessels. But the type of coffee you choose, the amount of coffee you use, and the ingredients in your coffee are the key factors in determining the impact of coffee on your heart. " "While black coffee is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce the risk of heart disease, the sugar, cream and flavoring syrup that are often added to coffee drinks are not heart healthy," said RDN Lori Zanini. Some coffee drinks contain more than 500 calories, mainly from sugar. For best heart health, limit your coffee intake to one or two cups a day, and target a drink with no more than two teaspoons (or 10 grams) of sugar.


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What do you think? Are you surprised by some of the foods in this article? Do you have any special food for heart health? Please leave a comment below and let us know. Share how you try to live a healthier life, and maybe your experience will inspire others.