Terrible Ten: Top 10 Foods That Cause Heart Disease

Ten. That’s it. Just 10 foods account for nearly half of all heart disease deaths in the U.S., researchers reported this week.

If people ate less of these foods and ate more nuts, fruits and vegetables, they could greatly lower their own risk of heart disease, the National Institute of Health says.

In 2012 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, it stated that “more than 700,000 Americans died of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. “Of these, an estimated 45 percent (318,656 due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes) were associated with suboptimal intakes of the 10 dietary factors.”

So what are these bad foods? Take a look…

10. Chips.
First, consider that the average 1-ounce bag of plain, salted potato chips contains 155 calories, 10.6g of fat (3.1g saturated fat), and 149mg of sodium. Then multiply those numbers by 112: that’s the number of 1-ounce bags that the average American eats in a year. It’s the equivalent of seven pounds of potato chips annually.

Eat this instead:
A great choice instead of potato chips and the fattening dips that go along with it are the dynamic duo of pita and hummus. One pita has under 100 calories and less than one gram of fat. Hummus is an excellent, low-fat, low-cholesterol choice for a dip. And it tastes great.

9. Doughnuts.
It’s probably no surprise that these breakfast blunders made the list of worst heart foods. However, few people know how terrible can be. Just one Krispy Kreme Creme Filled Chocolate Doughnut is a doozey: 20g of fat (5 saturated), 23g of sugar, and 38g of carbohydrates. It’ll take you an hour to walk off the damage.

Eat this instead:
Reach for instant oatmeal, which has been proven to lower the bad LDL cholesterol and boost your metabolism. Add some fresh berries for an excellent start to your day.


8. Ice cream.
As an ice cream lover, this hurt me 🙁 It may evoke memories of your innocent childhood days, but ice cream is anything but innocent. Ben and Jerry’s best-selling flavor, Cherry Garcia, packs 14g of fat (10g saturated), and 22g of sugar for every ½ cup (approximately two scoops).

Eat this instead:
The obvious alternative to ice cream is frozen yogurt. The frozen yogurt version of Cherry Garcia contains half the calories and only 3g of fat (2g saturated).


7. Pasta.
It’s an Italian classic: spaghetti and meatballs. Mom’s recipe may include a secret ingredient, but the dish served at Romano’s Macaroni Grill has some eye-popping extras: 1,430 calories, 81g of fat and 41g of saturated fat, and 4540mg of sodium.

Eat this instead:
If you have pasta on the brain, try the whole wheat variety. On average, this kind contains only 197 calories, 0.8g fat, and is a great source of fiber. A little marinara sauce won’t put you in a nutritional bind. If you’re in the mood for meatballs, go for ground turkey.


6. Pizza.
It’s a convenient, Friday-night delivery essential, but pizza is no friend of your heart. A single plain slice has 9.8g of fat (4.4 saturated fat), and 551mg of sodium. But who just stops at one?

Eat this instead:
Pizza is an easy, do-it-yourself meal. Start with whole wheat dough, English muffins, or pitas, then add sauce and reduced fat cheese to create a flavorful, healthy alternative your whole family can help make.

5. Burgers.
Choosing the wrong burger can have big repercussions for your heart. McDonald’s famous Big Mac contains 540 calories, 29g of fat, and 1040mg of sodium. Even if you make your hamburgers at home, a three-ounce hamburger made with 80 percent-lean beef still has 14.8g of fat (5.6g saturated fat), and 76mg of cholesterol.

Eat this instead:
The best alternative for ground beef is ground turkey breast. It clocks in at an amazing 120 calories, 1g of fat (0g saturated), and 28g of protein per four-ounce burger. Add ground pepper, a pinch of cayenne, and a dash of salt to beef up your turkey burger

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