It isn’t new knowledge that obesity rates are high in the U.S.–affecting nearly one out of three Americans. Even worse is that heart disease kills one out of four people each year. Poor dieting is a huge factor in health risks like heart disease. Avoiding foods that hurt your heart will help you live longer and healthier.

Foods that Hurt Your Heart

Cottage Cheese

Despite being well-known as a healthy breakfast option, cottage cheese is extremely high in sodium. One cup can contain up to 700 mg of sodium, which is about a third of your day’s recommended amount.

Sodium has been shown to be harmful to your heart health by creating plaque buildup that leads to high blood pressure. Instead of cottage cheese, opt for nonfat Greek yogurt or oatmeal. Both are good for your heart and digestive system.

Fried Chicken

This Southern dish is one of the fried foods that hurt your heart. Fried foods, even if it’s chicken (which can be healthy if cooked properly), are high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

For example, KFC’s Original Recipe Chicken Breast contains 16 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, and 105 mg of cholesterol, which is 35% of the daily value. In one chicken thigh, there is 1,100 mg of sodium! That’s nearly half of your daily value in just one thigh.

Chicken is a lean protein that can be greatly beneficial to your heart health. However, grilling it with the skin off is the best way of doing this–not frying it.


For a while, many believed that margarine was a better option than butter. However, time has proven that it is not better since it uses hydrogenated oils, which are bad for your heart.

Additionally, margarine is high in trans-fats which are linked to heart disease. Instead of margarine, use olive oil or even regular butter in small amounts.

Canned Vegetables

This one may come as a surprise to some, but canned vegetables are one of the foods that hurt your heart. Why? Because they are high in sodium.

In one-half cup of Del Monte Golden Sweet Whole Kernel Corn there is 320 mg of sodium. Most likely, more salt will be added to it as it’s prepared or at the dinner table.

If you choose canned vegetables, look for low sodium or no sodium added options. Another route to go is fresh or frozen vegetables. They are more healthy and natural that way.

Too Much Red Meat

Red meat is a great source of protein and iron, but can be dangerous to your heart health if consumed too often. Red meat, like steak or bacon, is high in saturated fat and cholesterol–both of which can lead to heart disease.

Eating red meat once a week should not harm you, but 3-4 times a week may. Instead of a steak or burger, opt for chicken or fish. Both are low in cholesterol, fat, and calories.

Being more aware of what nutrients the foods you eat contain will help you to be more heart healthy and avoid foods that hurt your heart.

What you eat makes a significant impact on your overall health, so make it a positive impact! Look at nutrition labels and look for ways to make your favorite meals healthier!





Learn More