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4 Foods Your Heart Wants You to Stop Eating

By Kate Gardner

Why can't every food be good for us? It's simply unfair that the most delicious (and often easiest to prepare) foods are usually the worst, heart-healthwise. Reader's Digest and Harvard Health bring us four foods that you shouldn't eat (or that you should at least eat less of). 

  • Hot dogs - Oh, hot dogs, you are such an easy lunch for my kids. Unfortunately, you are also not good for them. Processed meats, like hot dogs and lunch meats, are usually high in sodium and preservatives. Research continues to pile up that shows eating processed meats is linked to all sorts of diseases. Eat processed meats no more than two times per week. 

  • Soda - Have you seen how much sugar is in a can of Coke? Thirty-nine grams. That's almost 8 teaspoons, more than than the daily maximum of 6 teaspoons health groups recommend for women. Diet sodas aren't a solid alternative either, as research continues to link drinking beverages with artificial sweeteners to various health problems. If you do need that bubbly carbonated fix, try flavored waters. I know, I know -- they aren't the same. But trading out unhealthy drinks for healthy ones is worth it. 

  • Potato chips - I'm looking at you, barbecue potato chips. In the age of clean eating, potato chips might seem to be a good choice. After all, they usually only have a few simple ingredients. But potato chips are typically heavily salted, and a serving will often give you much of your daily recommended allowance of sodium. If you need to satisfy your craving for crunchy chips, stick with lightly-salted, unflavored varieties. The more flavorings (like sour cream and onion) that are added, the more processed and unhealthy the chips become. 

  • Pizza - Pizza is often presented as a healthy-ish food choice. It has calcium-rich cheese and lycopene-loaded tomato sauce. But in reality, we tend to load our pizzas with processed meats (like pepperoni and sausage) onto refined white-flour crusts. Store-bought pizzas are also loaded with salt. There's an easy fix, though. Make your own! Simply swap in a whole-wheat crust, ditch the meats, and add tons of veggies. 

The bad news is there are lots of everyday foods on this list. The good news is that most of them can be eaten in moderation, while others have easy replacements. If you find you're frequently eating foods on this list, don't get overwhelmed! Focus on making small changes, a little at a time. Your heart will thank you! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Flagstaff, Ariz. 

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