Cardiologists Agree: It’s the One Processed Snack You Need to Stop Buying ASAP

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, according to the CDC? Heart-related health problems are unfortunately very rare in the United States. While things like genetics and certain medications can make them worse, or even cause them, it can be exacerbated by things like your diet and lifestyle. One way to invest in your heart health is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and know which foods you should avoid or reduce. Processed foods are particularly problematic for heart health. Most processed foods contain excessive amounts of sugar added during their manufacture, and high-sugar diets have been shown to be directly linked to an increased risk of heart disease. But are some worse than others?

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According to Dr. Raed Bargout, a cardiologist at Dignity Health-Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale, Calif., processed meat is one of the worst, especially processed deli meats. “Processed deli meats top the list of foods that may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes.” He says. If you like adding deli meats to your sandwiches, consider cooking fresh turkey or chicken instead.

Caitlin Policastro, a nurse practitioner at the New York Center for Innovative Medicine, says eating too much pork in particular could be particularly tricky. “Besides the fact that [it’s] is loaded with saturated fat – leading to cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, weight gain and more – most pigs are given high doses of antibiotics to keep them alive before they are slaughtered,” he says. her,” In addition to being loaded with antibiotics, pigs struggle to eliminate toxins because their digestive systems are extremely basic, which compounds the problem.


Pork deli meats are one of the worst, especially because they’re usually very high in added sodium. Another high-sodium processed meat is jerky. In fact, reports that “a 1 ounce serving can contain nearly 20% of the recommended daily sodium limit for adults.” Although sodium is a mineral necessary for your well-being, too much can be harmful. Too much sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure, and high blood pressure is one of the biggest risks for heart disease and stroke. Overall, you should consider avoiding processed meats, especially beef jerky, as they can have dangerous effects on your heart health.

Physical well-being involves many moving parts, and making changes to your lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. Everything from diet, exercise, staying hydrated and sleeping well are essential. Making small changes and adjustments every day is the best way to see lasting change and invest in your long-term well-being. Balance is key, so focus on eating junk food in moderation, while making sure you eat healthy foods regularly.

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