12. Cheese

Label Cheese With Dates

Cheese and cheesy foods made this list because cheese is high in saturated fat, and because most of us simply eat too much of it for our own good. Saturated fat used to be a complete no-no where heart health is concerned, but lately nutritionists have started noting the benefits of some saturated fat, or at least that it isn’t as bad as once thought. So, if you love cheese and your body isn’t sensitive to it (lactose or A1 protein intolerance, etc.) you can probably have a little now and then, but the less the better.

11. Pizza

Pizza

We added pizza to this list because it’s a white dough-based (refined grain) cheesy food (saturated fat) with sauce (sugar, sodium) and maybe some hamburger (saturated fat, trimethylamine N-oxide) or pepperoni (saturated fat, nitrates). Even if you’ve got veggies on your pizza, all those other ingredients make this beloved meal a risky one for heart health. But pizza can be made much healthier with alternative crusts, homemade sauces, white meats and more veggies. Or eat your favorite pizza monthly instead of weekly and your heart (along with the rest of your body) will be grateful.

10. Fried Foods

Avoid Fried Food

The more fried foods you eat, like fried chicken and French fries, the greater the risk to heart health. As reported by WebMD, a recent study found that people who eat fried foods at least three times per week have a 7% higher risk of stroke and heart disease. If eaten daily, that risk goes up to 14%. Fried foods are often cooked in rancid oils that cause free radicals in the body. They’re also full of omega-6 fatty acids. Too much omega-6 can lead to high blood pressure and blood clots that could cause heart disease.

Related: Lower Your Triglycerides to Prevent Heart Disease 
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