Fast foods have long ago taken away the traditional non-greasy, healthy snacking and meal options from us. Although, even Indian cuisine offers a variety of unhealthy fried options, an addition of variety from different cuisines all over the world has given us a vast range of junk to choose from.
Hence, the healthier options at meal time like green leafy vegetables or servings of fruits as a snack have now been replaced by French fries or noodles.
Likewise, junk foods are becoming a way of life for us, after all, nothing beats a hard day of work and stiff joints with an easily available cheeseburger now. Does it?
Here are the deadliest sins in the history of fast food debauchery that can make your heart sick to the point of no return:
1) Potato Chips/French Fries
These are high in sodium, fats, and calories. And eating just one or two is nearly impossible. A low sodium diet is recommended to keep your heart healthy, and these definitely do not fall under that classification.
2) Sugary syrups
Mostly made of fructose corn syrup which can tire your arteries and increase your BP and LDL. Steer clear or lower the consumption if you want a healthy heart.
Drinking too much of frizzy drinks can tax your heart and its functions by spiking up the insulin levels which results to not only weight gain, but also causes cancer agents in the bloodstream and excessive sugar causes cardiovascular diseases.
4) Cakes/ Pastries/ Brownies/ Baked products
These devil’s advocates with sinful taste can prove to be extremely harmful to not only your waistline but also to your heart. Cakes and brownies and other baked sugary items contain a boatload of sugar and trans fats, and you know how dangerous it could be for your cholesterol levels.
5) Ice creams
Giving an instant surge to insulin levels and triglycerides, too much ice-cream is nothing less than fatal by causing sticky blood clumps and blocked small vessels of the heart, cascading down to a heart attack.
The condiment of French fries, burgers and even homemade sandwiches. Ketchup has loads of sugar and sodium. Both are worst culprits of harming your heart and heart vessels.
7) Milkshakes/ Smoothies
Milkshakes take you back to your childhood memories and green smoothies are recommended for weight loss but only if they are purely homemade with no added sugar. Purchased from markets, and you will receive more than you bargained for.
Did you know that one chocolate milkshake at Burger King gives a dose of 112 grams of sugar which is equivalent to four days of sweet carb recommended limit?
8) Soy Sauce
This ingredient which makes your food delicious can sneak in around 1000 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon. Are you up for that kind of intake?
Limited use or better yet finding an alternative is recommended if you want to have a healthy heart for long.
9) Bottled fruit juice
Do not think if its juice it is bound to be healthy. It has long been established that having a whole fruit instead of juicing it is more beneficial.
Besides, one serving can pack up to 36 grams of sugar. Sometimes even more if the serving portion is big.
10) Pizza/ Cheeseburgers
The worst enemies of a healthy heart – scoring first place is cheeseburgers and second place is bagged by pizza. It is recommended that you stick to a slice or two along with a lot of fresh salad to minimize the effects on the heart.
11) Vegetable Shortenings
Shortenings are laden with dangerous saturated fats which are the artery blocking agents and can give you a severe heart-related threat.
12) Frozen food
Who would go to the lengths of cutting, chopping, washing, and cooking the vegetable, better keep frozen food in the fridge, and reheat whenever you have to eat. Sounds easy and simple, but please know that these are loaded with sodium and sugar both.
Besides, what are our mothers use to say about long kept food, holds true! It is a breeding ground of bacteria as well.
13) Salad Dressing
Do not for even one second think that salad dressings are as healthy as the salad itself. The bottled stuff decorated in the aisles is buck load of sodium and sugar. Instead stick to extra virgin olive oil, rock salt and a dash of lemon.
14) Fat-free options
Fat-free options were thought healthy, but not anymore. To keep the texture and taste of the product, manufacturers add extra sugar, making it even more dangerous in the process. Stay away from such products.
Heart attack is the cause of 1/3 of deaths worldwide and the major cause is mindless and careless eating habits. These following foods are the heart-healthy counterparts you need to include in your daily diet immediately:
1) Green Leafy Vegetables
Enriched with antioxidants and nutrients, spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables are a boon for a healthy, fluttering heart. They lower the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
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Rich in anti-oxidants like anthocyanins protects against stress and inflammation that leads to heart diseases. They can also be a delicious alternative to sugar cravings.
Full of vitamins, nutrients, mono-saturated fats, and low saturated fats, these are a great way to reduce heart risks. Walnuts, pistachios, hazelnut, almonds, and pecan should be eaten at least twice or four times a week to keep heart diseases at bay.
Eating fish with a high content of omega 3 fatty acids leads to reduced blood pressure and stress levels. Along term fish eating also leads to a permanently decreased blood pressure and improved arterial functions.
Excellent source of heart-healthy mono-saturated fats, fruits like avocados, strawberries, and apples can lower a lot of risk factors which contribute to heart health.
A study found that eating blueberries improved the cell functions which regulates the blood vessels.
With high fiber and nutrient-rich condiments like bran, germ, and endosperm, whole grains are perfect alternatives to fulfilling carb requirements of the body.
Barley, oats, brown rice and quinoa are some of the whole grains you must incorporate into your diet.
For Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds are rich options for right absorption of nutrients into the body.
A study showed that eating 30 grams of flaxseed every day for a year decreased blood pressure levels in the patients. It also reduces cholesterol levels.
8) Dark Chocolate
Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate reduces heart-risk to a certain degree. A study conducted showed that eating a small portion of dark chocolate five days a week reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 57% and lowers plaque in the arteries by 32%.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet with all the above foods that can help protect your heart. You should adopt it in the daily lifestyle for it to affect your body positively.
Moreover, staying away from foods that serve you illness in a plateful in the name of deliciousness should be eaten with measured portions and if possible should be avoided completely.