8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

Do you suffer from heart disease? If so, it’s essential to be mindful of what you eat.

Certain foods that are fine for most people can be unhealthy and even dangerous for those with heart disease.

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

In this article, we’ll discuss the foods you should avoid if you have heart disease.


When it comes to heart disease, eating the wrong foods can increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Certain foods are known to be bad for your heart and should be avoided if you have heart disease.

These include fatty meats, processed meats, fried foods, unhealthy fats, and sugary drinks.

Foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fat are especially bad for your heart health(see also: Are Bananas Good For Women’s Heart Health? Nutrition Guide).

Saturated fat is found in fatty cuts of meat, chicken skin, lard, butter, cheese, and other dairy products.

Trans fat is found in fried foods such as French fries and doughnuts, as well as processed snack cakes and cookies.

It’s also important to watch your intake of sodium. Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.

To reduce sodium intake, avoid canned soup and frozen dinners, as they often contain large amounts of salt.

Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables which are naturally low in sodium.

1. Red/Processed Meat

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

Red meat is a major source of saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease.

Eating too much red meat can also lead to weight gain, which can further increase the risk of heart disease.

Here are some red meats that you should avoid if you have heart disease:

  1. Sausage
  2. Bacon
  3. Hot dogs
  4. Salami

These processed meats contain nitrates, preservatives, and other unhealthy ingredients that can increase your risk for health problems such as cancer and heart disease.

In addition, some people may be sensitive to these additives and can experience increased inflammation in their body as a result.

Red meat has its place in a healthy diet, but should be eaten in moderation if you have heart disease.

Try to choose lean cuts of beef or pork whenever possible, and limit yourself to no more than three ounces per day.

Also, opt for healthier alternatives such as fish or poultry when possible instead of red meat.

It’s important to make sure that our diets are balanced when we have heart disease so that we don’t put ourselves at greater risk for health problems down the road.

Making small changes such as limiting our intake of red meat can have a positive effect on our overall health and well-being.

2. Alcohol

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and cause heart failure or cardiomyopathy.

People who have had a heart attack should talk to their doctor before drinking any amount of alcohol.

Alcohol consumption carries risks that can be serious for those with heart disease:

  1. It increases triglyceride levels, which can increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis, leading to coronary artery disease.
  2. It can also lead to an irregular heartbeat, known as arrhythmia, which can cause chest pain and other signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  3. In addition to these health risks, alcohol may interfere with medications used to treat heart failure or other conditions related to heart disease, so it is important to consult with a doctor before consuming any alcoholic beverages.

3. Pizza

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

Pizza is usually a delicious treat, but unfortunately, it’s not always the healthiest option for those with heart disease.

This is because pizza is typically high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. All of these can contribute to an increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

The dough used to make pizza also has a high amount of simple carbohydrates.

These carbs are quickly broken down in the body and leave you feeling hungry again soon after eating.

This can lead to overeating and weight gain, which can further raise your risk for heart disease.

When eating pizza, it’s important to watch portion sizes and choose toppings that are low in fat and sodium.

Avoiding deep-dish crusts and sauces made with cream or cheese can also help reduce the amount of unhealthy ingredients you consume.

Opting for veggie-topped pizzas or making your own at home are great ways to enjoy pizza without compromising your health.

4. White Rice, Bread And Pasta

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

White rice, bread, and pasta are all common staples in many people’s diets. However, if you have heart disease, these foods should be avoided.

Eating too much of them can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Here is why:

  1. High glycemic index: White rice, bread, and pasta have a high glycemic index, which means they raise blood sugar levels quickly when consumed. This can cause inflammation in the body and increase cholesterol levels, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
  2. High carbohydrates: All three are high in carbohydrates, which can also contribute to elevated cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart disease if eaten in excess.
  3. Low fibre content: Additionally, white rice, bread, and pasta are low in fibre, which is essential for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels as well as aiding digestion.

It is important to limit or avoid these foods entirely if you have heart disease because they can increase your risk of serious health (see also: 8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas That Will Boost Your Heart Health)complications. Instead, opt for healthier options such as whole grains like quinoa or oats or legumes like beans or lentils that are higher in fibre and other nutrients beneficial for maintaining a healthy heart.

5. Full Fat Dairy

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

Dairy products that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Consuming too much full-fat dairy can lead to an unhealthy level of cholesterol and triglycerides, which can in turn contribute to atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in the arteries) and an increased risk of stroke or heart attack.

Whole milk, cream, butter, ice cream, cheese, and yoghurt should all be avoided if you have heart disease.

Non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk are good substitutes since they are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than traditional dairy products. 

Additionally, consuming low-fat dairy products like non-fat yoghurt and skimmed or low-fat milk is a better alternative since these contain less saturated fats than their full-fat counterparts.

6. French Fries

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

French fries should be avoided by those with heart disease.

High in unhealthy fats and sodium, French fries are a major contributor to cardiovascular problems.

They are usually cooked in oil that has been reused multiple times, which can create trans fat, a dangerous type of fat that contributes to heart disease.

Additionally, the high salt content in French fries causes blood pressure to rise, posing a risk to those with existing heart conditions.

In terms of nutrition, French fries are empty calories, meaning they provide no dietary benefits.

They contain no vitamins or minerals and only serve as an empty source of energy.

This lack of nutrients increases the risk for heart disease because it does not contribute any healthy substances that could help protect against it.

Instead, opt for potatoes that are steamed or boiled. 

7. Ice Cream

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

While it may seem like a tasty treat, the high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol found in this dessert can be dangerous for people with heart problems.

Ice cream also contains large amounts of sugar, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure.

Additionally, many store-bought ice creams are filled with artificial ingredients that add unnecessary calories and unhealthy fats.

It’s best to reduce your intake of ice cream or to opt for healthier alternatives such as frozen yoghurt or sorbet.

These options are lower in fat and calories while still providing a satisfying sweet treat.

Furthermore, you can make your own homemade ice cream using natural ingredients such as fruit, honey, and Greek yoghurt for a healthier alternative.

8. Crisps/High Fat Snacks

8 Foods You Should Avoid With Heart Disease

Crisps are a popular snack amongst people of all ages, but they should be avoided for those with heart disease.

Crisps are loaded with sodium, saturated fat, and trans fats.

These ingredients are known to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke(see also: How Are Hypertension, Heart Disease, And Stroke Related?) when consumed in excess.

Moreover, crisps also contain empty calories that do not provide any significant nutritional value and can lead to weight gain.

Being overweight increases the risk of developing high cholesterol levels and other cardiovascular issues.

Therefore, individuals with heart disease should avoid eating chips for these reasons.


In conclusion, it’s important to be mindful of the foods you put into your body when you have heart disease.

It may seem like you can’t have any treats, but there are healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.

You can even experiment with baking sweet treats but healthier ingredients. 

These types of food will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, getting plenty of exercise on a regular basis can help protect your heart health.

Clare McAfee
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