There’s no shortage of foods that are marketed as “healthy” with all kinds of bold promises. But many aren’t just less healthy than claimed, they may actively work against your heart health.
Here are five foods that many people think are part of a healthy diet but could damage your heart.
1. Fruit Juices
Who doesn’t want to get more fruit in their diet? And if you can get it in the form of a delicious juice all the better, right?
Not so fast. Fruit juices are loaded with sugars. The high amount of simple sugars in fruit juices can contribute to weight gain and increase your risk of developing diabetes.
2. Protein Bars
Protein bars are among the most touted healthy snack options in the fitness community. But how healthy are they, exactly?
It really depends on the manufacturer. Some may have as many calories as a McDonald’s Big Mac and about as much saturated fat, which raises cholesterol levels and may affect cardiovascular health.
3. Nut Butters
There are, of course, exceptions but many brands of nut butter that are labeled as being “natural” contain added sugars and trans fats. Check the label for ingredients like palm oil and sugar or corn syrup. All of these additives can actually increase your bad cholesterol and impact heart health.
4. Pre-Made Salads
How could a salad be bad for you? Easily.
Many packaged and pre-dressed salads in supermarket aisles can exceed 1,000 calories. And the added cheese and processed meats pack a ton of sodium which can increase your blood pressure and impair heart function.
5. Multigrain Bread
Multigrain means just that: multiple grains. There’s nothing different between multigrain bread and single-grain bread in terms of refinement. And it’s the refined flour which causes problems for your heart in the long run, not the lack of grain variety.