9. Potato Chips

Potato Chips

This favorite snack food could also fit in the fried foods category in some cases, but there are also many baked varieties of potato chips nowadays. The main reason potato chips are linked to heart disease is sodium. Most packaged chips are very salty. Salt in moderation is usually fine, but do any of us eat potato chips in moderation? Once that bag is open, chips are hard to resist. Eating high sodium foods like potato chips regularly leads to increases in blood pressure, making your heart pump harder and potentially wear itself out.

8. Hot Dogs

Perfect Hot Dogs

This star of cookouts and sporting events is an American favorite, but the classic hot dog is no friend to the beating heart in your chest. Hot dogs and other processed meats contain nitrates that can contribute to the narrowing and hardening of artery walls. Nitrates can also bond with amino acids during cooking and form cancer-causing compounds called nitrosamines. Thankfully, some hot dog brands are going nitrate free, though hot dogs do still usually contain saturated fat. You’re better off having grilled chicken tenders that you brought to the game yourself.

7. Vegetable Shortening

Shortening

Vegetable shortening is a fat used in baking that turns solid at room temperature. It got its name because it affects gluten in such a way that makes baking dough less elastic or shorter. Classic shortening brands have changed their preferred fats over the years, including switching to trans fats and then recently making the move away from trans fat again. That doesn’t mean shortening has become healthy. Oils and fats can become toxic when they are oxidized during processing. Oxidized fats lead to free radicals. Free radicals lead to inflammation, and chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease.

Related: Resting Heart Rate Facts

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