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Alfred Sparman Shares the Foods to Avoid to Keep Your Heart Healthy

It can be challenging to create a healthy diet plan. The world is full of temptations, and it can be difficult to distinguish between genuinely healthy foods and trendy options. There are many foods which people should avoid to keep their hearts healthy. Cardiologists like Dr. Alfred Sparman recommend that their patients keep this list in mind when they are grocery shopping or eating out.

Processed Meats

It is best to avoid these foods altogether, though up to two 3-ounce servings per week could be allowed. Meats like bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs, and deli meats contain more salt and preservatives than nutritional content. They are also frequently high in fat.

Refined Grains and Carbohydrates

Refined grains like white rice, white bread, highly processed breakfast cereals, sugars, and sweets should be avoided. At most, consume seven 1-ounce servings per week. Refined starches and sugars are unhealthy because their high level of processing removes most if not all, of their nutritional content. Processing these carbohydrates adds a variety of unhealthy ingredients, including trans and saturated fats, sugars, and sodium.

Fructose is of particular concern. It’s found in high-fructose corn syrup and can increase the production of new fat by the liver. If you want to incorporate these foods into your diet, restrict portion sizes, and make sure that these foods are eaten infrequently.

Sugar-Added Drinks

Sweetened drinks are one of the greatest culprits when it comes to consuming too many added sugars in the diet. It is best not to drink these beverages at all, but you can consume up to seven 8-ounce servings per week if you want to stay heart-healthy. Sports drinks, sweetened fruit drinks, and sodas are all problematic. Even 100 percent fruit juice has a great deal of sugar and should be restricted by those who wish to eat a heart-healthy diet.

Saturated Fats

Any fat which is solid at room temperature should be restricted in the diet. Beef, pork, lamb, poultry with skin, lard, cream, cheese, butter, and other dairy products should be looked at carefully. Coconut oil, though it has been a trendy diet additive in the past, should be restricted as well. Palm oil and palm kernel oil should also be avoided. The American Heart Association recommends that people should eat no more than 13 grams of saturated fat per day.

Saturated fats can raise blood cholesterol and can impact heart health. Replacing saturated fats with healthier fats can help people achieve a higher level of wellness.


Moderate drinking is not a heart risk unless patients have high blood pressure or triglycerides. Heavy drinking, however, can cause high blood pressure, strokes, weight gain, and heart failure. Women should have no more than one alcoholic drink per day, while men can have 2.

Canned and Processed Foods

While canned soup may look like a healthy lunch, people should look very carefully at the nutrition facts. Most canned soups, even those which are marketed as low-sodium, have a considerable amount of added salt. Sodium can cause elevated blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.

Dressings and Condiments

Eating a salad may be healthy, but adding ranch or Caesar dressing may not be. Ranch dressing may be the worst culprit, as it is high in fat, calories, and sodium. Salad dressings can also be high in sugar. To dress your salad properly, make your dressing using heart-healthy olive oil and vinegar.

Deep-Fried Foods

All deep-fried foods should be considered unhealthy for your heart. Even if these foods are cooked in vegetable oils, they can present serious health problems. Donuts, French fries, and fried chicken are three of the biggest challenges when it comes to fried foods.

Create a Healthy Diet Plan

Cardiologists like Dr. Alfred Sparman understand the importance of a healthy diet when it comes to heart health. It is best to avoid trendy diets such as the keto diet, which emphasizes fat and meat. Coconut oil should also be avoided. It is possible to eat some of these foods in moderation, but they should be restricted if you want to have a truly heart-healthy diet.

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