Avoid foods that are high in energy, saturated fats, cholesterol, salt and refined sugar while on a heart healthy diet. This is of significance to those who eat a rich diet, and have a high rate of coronary heart disease.
High Cholesterol Foods
- Fatty meat
- Egg yolks
The major indicator of heart disease is cholesterol, particularly bad cholesterol, called low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Another type of cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), had been found to be beneficial because it removed cholesterol deposits from the artery wall.
Cholesterol has been linked with coronary artery disease ever since it was found in the fatty deposits of artery walls affected by atherosclerosis (the thickening of the artery walls). Cholesterol comes from the food we eat and from our body. The liver is the main site of production. The body makes sufficient cholesterol for its needs, and does not rely on cholesterol in the diet.
Even on a totally vegetarian diet, humans make enough cholesterol to maintain its functions. Eating extra cholesterol simply puts more into the blood. Too much in the blood can lead to a build-up on the linings of the arteries. This can begin in childhood. Over the years, the artery becomes narrower as the build-up increases. A simple blood clot can then obstruct the artery completely. If this happens near the heart, a heart attack results; if near the brain, a stroke.
- Meat fat
- Hard margarine
- Coconut oil
- Palm oil
Fat in food is a big concern. In the average diet, about 40 percent of our “fuel” comes from fat. A sensible diet should reduce this figure to 30 percent or less. The American Heart Association says foods which are high in fat, such as fatty meats, full-cream dairy products, biscuits, pastries and fried foods should be avoided.
Excess fats in the diet may contribute to obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, heart disease and certain cancers. Choose lean meats, low-fat dairy products and use low-fat cooking methods. Use butter, margarine, cream and oils sparingly.
- Flavored coffees
- Iced tea
- Protein bars
- Ready-made soup
- Canned fruit
- Canned baked beans
- Bottled smoothies
High sugar intake is associated with obesity and tooth decay. It’s well documented that sugar (sucrose) can greatly increase the body levels of triglycerides (a form of fat that circulates in the blood). Too much is a well-known cause of premature heart attacks, and sudden death.
Sugars, whether white, brown, raw or glucose, are solely an energy source and their nutrient content is negligible. No one will deny that sucrose, like any other high calorie food, including glucose, brings problems in relation to overweight and may thus be related to heart disease.
- Commercial sauces
- Meat pie
- Fish and chips
- Bouillon cubes or stock cubes
- Smoked and canned fish
Excessive salt tends to be harmful for many people, inviting cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. Sodium from excessive use of table salt and salty processed foods may contribute to high blood pressure, and promote watery swellings in the body and the heart has to work even harder. Reducing excess sodium intake from an early age may help to control hypertension.