Certain foods, especially those high in saturated and trans fats, can pose serious health risks to the heart. Heart disease occurs when arteries become narrow and fatty deposits cling to the walls of these arteries. This combination makes the arteries much weaker and more likely to form blood clots. If a blood clot blocks one of the arteries to the heart or brain then you will suffer a heart attack or stroke. Several of the typical foods that we eat pose hidden but serious dangers to the heart. To protect our heart health it is important to know which foods are the biggest offenders.
1. Processed Meats
Processed meats such as bacon, sausage, deli meats, and especially hot dogs are full of heart wrenching high-fat proteins and preservatives. The ways in which these types of meats are processed leave them much lower in protein than any meat that you would prepare yourself.
The processing adds additional sodium, nitrates, nitrites, and preservatives to the food. A recent study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health found that each daily serving of these processed meats were associated with a 42% increase in the risk of heart disease (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/processed-meats-unprocessed-heart-disease-diabetes/). Processed meats, the study found, have about 4 times as much sodium and 50% more nitrate preservatives than unprocessed meats.