In a world of plentiful food choices, it is quite easy to get carried away eating almost any type of meal that appeals to the taste bud without considering the long-term effects and or impact consuming such meals have on your heart and overall wellbeing.

Surprisingly, even some of the food (e.g. canned vegetables, butter alternatives) that may be commonly thought of as natural and healthy by most may not entirely be the case as some can contain hidden heart dangers. Thus, to help ensure a healthy heart, it is important to stay clear certain types of food, some of which we discuss below:

Fried food: Generally speaking, fried foods are significantly higher in fat and calories than their non-fried counterparts. These foods tend to be high in calories and trans fat, so eating a lot of them can have negative effects on the heart. Furthermore, numerous bodies of research have linked the consumption of fried foods like fried chicken, fried meat, fried snacks e.t.c. to an increased risk of heart disease.

Potatoe Chips: According to Harvard researchers, chips are one of the worst foods for your belly. Not only are they saturated with saturated fat, which causes your gut to expand and puts your heart in the danger zone, they’re also crusted with salt—yet another nutrient linked to cardiovascular disease when eaten in excess.

Red meat: Studies have established a link between the consumption of red meat and the health of the heart. Generally, red meats are saturated and contain trans fat that can raise blood cholesterol and increase/worsen the risk of heart disease. White meats such as chicken or fish are healthier alternatives.

Sugar: According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, consuming sugar in large quantity can cause diseases and damage the human heart. The more refined sugar you eat, the more insulin the body releases and the greater the risk of obesity and in turn, cardiovascular diseases. Refined sugars are found in all of your favourite sweet treats – from ice cream and cookies to cakes and candies. They’re also in soda, many packaged goods and even in items, you may not expect – like yoghurt, condiments and salad dressing.

Fast Food: Stopping by fast food outlets to have a quick meal is usually a trait characterised with people that live in extremely busy and chaotic cities. While the food may be tasty and convenient, fast food isn’t the best choice for your heart. That’s because fast food contains high amounts of saturated fats (and sometimes even trans fats, which are worse). Consuming high amounts of saturated and trans fats from especially from low-quality sources—like fast food—can be detrimental to your heart health.