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The 25 Worst Foods to Bring to a Party

The 25 Worst Foods to Bring to a Party



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So you’ve been invited to a party! Congratulations! You’re set in for an evening filled with music, friends, and fun. And you’re certainly not a rude party guest, so you know the most courteous thing to do is to bring along a dish to share with your host and your fellow revelers. Perhaps the best way to decide what to bring to a party is to know what not to take.

For the 25 Worst Foods to Bring to a Party Slideshow, click here.

Listen, there are plenty of delicious dishes to bring to a party. You don’t have to resort to bringing flavorless foods, controversial ingredients, or something that’s premade at the grocery store and actually quite sad. And you don’t have to be a master chef in order to bring an impressive potluck dish. Some of the best dishes and the biggest crowd-pleasers are oh-so-simple. (See: Buffalo chicken dip.)

No one wants to show up to a party empty-handed. But, if you’re tempted to bring these 25 awful foods as your guest, you may be better off


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."


40 Worst Foods for Your Heart, According to Cardiologists and Dietitians

Take heart: What&rsquos on your plate can help maintain your cardiac capacity. &ldquoHeart-healthy foods contain nutrients that have been shown to benefit the cardiovascular system or reduce the risk of developing heart disease by lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides, reducing blood pressure, controlling weight and/or improving insulin sensitivity,&rdquo says Rania Batayneh, MPH, the owner of Essential Nutrition For You and the author of The One One One Diet.

Omega-3s, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, phytonutrients and antioxidants earn top marks in these categories, making the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet top choices for those seeking to maintain or improve heart health.

Science backs up this premise: A menu centered around produce, whole grains, nuts and beans, plus a little dairy and heart-healthy fats can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by about a third, according to a 2016 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. So which foods get the green light from dietitians and which ones get the red light? Here are the 40 worst foods for your heart.

Ditch the deli. "Even the lower-fat versions of cured lunch meats contain the preservative sodium nitrate," says Suzanne Fisher, RD, LDN, founder of Fisher Nutrition Systems in Cooper City, Florida.

Nitrates may increase internal inflammation, and "chronic inflammation has a direct link to the development of atherosclerosis," the stiffening or narrowing of the arteries, she adds.

Linked closely to cold cuts is another cured meat option: franks.

&ldquoHot dogs and sausages can be high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options tend to be packed with salt. It&rsquos important to watch your sodium intake, as more dietary sodium often leads to higher blood pressure,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Same goes for supermarket roasted birds&mdashthey often contain far more sodium and saturated fat than your typical home-cooked poultry products if you purchase them fully seasoned and with skin on.

Roast your own at home (try our Ultimate Roasted Whole Chicken recipe!) to control the amount of added sodium or seek out an unseasoned chicken and remove the skin to trim down on saturated fat.

You might want to shake up your condiment strategy, as many store-bought ones are loaded with added sugar and/or sodium.

"Ketchup is very high in sodium as well," says Juan Rivera, MD, a cardiologist in Miami, Florida and chief medical correspondent for Univision Network and the author of The Mojito Diet.

Just two tablespoons contains 320 milligrams of sodium&mdash14 percent of the way to your daily suggested limit of 2,300 milligrams, recommended by the American Heart Association . Plus, it boasts eight grams of sugar per two-tablespoon serving.

In related condiment news, it&rsquos best for your heart to steer clear of (or go light on) the sauce at your cookout. A couple tablespoons of the typical bottle variety has about 310 milligrams of sodium. Seek out Tessamae&rsquos or Annie&rsquos for a bit less sodium and fewer added sugars, or better yet: make your own and season to taste.

About 70 percent of our total sodium consumption comes from food we find in packages or eat at restaurants. Another 15 percent is found naturally in ingredients. But that leaves another 15 percent or so of sodium that we're completely in control of adding ourselves, either via the salt shaker on the table or by the spoonful into recipes.

Start by adding half of what a recipe calls for, and scale up to only use what you need. So you don't shake on extra out of habit, leave the salt in the kitchen and only bring it to the table if you need it after the first bite.

What makes reduced-fat salad dressings a cardiac crime is that they're actually hidden sources of sugar and salt, says Fisher.

&ldquoWhen fat is removed, sugar is typically added to maintain the taste and texture,&rdquo she says. Just because it&rsquos low in fat or calories, it doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos healthy.

&ldquoI recommend my clients to look beyond macronutrients. Even when macros fall perfectly in line with what&rsquos traditionally recommended for fat, carbohydrates and protein levels, a diet can fall short on nutrition,&rdquo Fisher says. &ldquoFor example, are the carbohydrate sources highly-processed and low in fiber? Is the protein lean? Is the fat heart-healthy?&rdquo

Even worse than reduced-fat is unnaturally zero-fat. &ldquoFat-free packaged foods were once touted as a healthy option for individuals wanting to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle,&rdquo Fisher says. No longer.

A good rule of thumb: Avoid any product that is not normally fat-free. What it doesn't have in fat, it makes up for in sugar.

&ldquoRead food labels and ingredient lists to determine many grams of sugar may have been added as a fat substitute. Many types of natural fats are healthy and promote satiety, which in the long run can reduce cravings and overeating,&rdquo she continues.

Seek out an all-natural, full-fat and sugar-free nut butter for a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats. &ldquoLow-fat peanut butters usually contain the same amount of calories as its conventional counterpart. Again, you&rsquore trading fat for sugar,&rdquo Fisher says.

The ingredient list should read: &ldquoPeanuts, Salt.&rdquo You&rsquoll earn bonus points from Fisher if you can spot or grind up a jar that&rsquos made with nuts alone (in other words, without extra sodium).

In another example of &ldquonot all fats are bad,&rdquo take a second look at the nutrition label of your cold cereal. Does it have more than eight grams of sugar per serving to make up for its low-fat level? Skip it.

&ldquoDietary fat was the enemy for so many years. Now, most experts agree that a diet high in added sugar may be just as big of a threat by contributing to obesity, inflammation, high cholesterol and diabetes&mdashall of which are risk factors for heart disease,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Not all nut milks are created equal. &ldquoFlavored and sweetened milk substitutes line supermarket shelves, making it difficult to choose the healthiest option,&rdquo Fisher says.

She suggests snagging a cardio-protective nut milk, such as unsweetened almond milk. Additions, like chocolate and vanilla flavoring, can quickly crank up the calories.

More fried food, more problems. Study participants who consumed larger amounts of fried food had higher risk for death from coronary artery disease, as reported in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

&ldquoConventional frying methods may include oils that contain trans fats, a type of fat shown to raise the bad type of cholesterol and lower the good kind,&rdquo Batayneh says.

Trans fats rose in popularity in recent decades due to their ability to be reused again and again in commercial fryers, but now that their true nutrition colors are coming to light, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has banned their use. Restaurants and food manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to completely phase them out.

It&rsquos not just battered and fried bird that&rsquos tough on your ticker, though. High levels of potato consumption has been linked to increased risk for both hypertension and type 2 diabetes in scientific research. And frying the spuds delivers a one-two punch to your cardiac health.

Increased servings of potato chips tacked on more pounds than any other foods (including sugary drinks, processed meats and red meat) in a New England Journal of Medicine study.

In addition to ample calories&mdash160 calories per serving for 15 Lay&rsquos&mdashchips are low in fiber and protein while offering a good shake of sodium.

Serving size and sugars can be deceptive in these sips. &ldquoWhat could seem healthier than a fruit smoothie? In theory they should be healthy, unless you count how many grams of sugar you are actually consuming,&rdquo Fisher notes.

Consider how many pieces of fruit it takes squeeze one full glass of juice. &ldquoPlus, by drinking fruit instead of eating it whole, you lose the essential fiber that could help normalize elevated blood lipids&mdasha key risk factor of heart disease,&rdquo Fisher says.

Same goes for green juices, Fisher says. If you do decide to down one, be mindful of portion size. Most bottles and restaurant cups are made for one, but they most likely contain two or more servings. &ldquoThus doubling or tripling the calories and sugar grams you may be drinking in one sitting,&rdquo she says

While sodium ranges can vary, most broths contain at least 500 milligrams of sodium per cup . Mix in other salty ingredients, and you&rsquoll score more than one-third of your daily sodium limit in one serving.

&ldquoCanned soups are extremely high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure for everyone and exacerbate the condition of individuals with heart failure,&rdquo Rivera says.

Veggies can fall under the same trap.

&ldquoThis does not apply to all canned vegetables, in fact some may be a great addition to your weekly meals! However some canned vegetable products are packaged with excess added sodium which can take a vegetable with no salt and make it have more than a processed snack item,&rdquo says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoI always advise my clients: Read those labels.&rdquo

Although these itty-bitty flower buds contain next to no calories, they can crank up the sodium level of your bagel and lox or grilled dish fast. Since they come pickled in a salty brine, just

Sometimes, it&rsquos good to be plain&mdashas in plain Greek yogurt. "Fruity yogurts can contain upwards of six teaspoons of sugar per serving. A better choice is to buy plain Greek yogurt and mix it with your own fresh or frozen unsweetened fruit," Fisher says. "The fruit will supply fiber and phytonutrients that premixed fruit yogurt lacks."