Experts warn that eating processed meats could lead to heart disease

Joe Mertens

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Food. It's something we all need. But some foods could be doing more harm for us than good. Nutritionist Keri Glassman and M.D. Jason Sayanlar both have a list of foods that they think you should avoid.

Some people like to say that "there are no bad foods" and "everything in moderation is okay." Contrary to this belief, Glassman says that bad foods do exist. She says that eating bad foods every once in a while won't completely disrupt your health, but that doesn't mean they aren't still bad.

Glassman notes that, as a nutritionist, there are some foods that she steers clear from all the time. In an article for Today, Glassman shares her list of bad foods.

First on her list, and Joey Chestnut might want to close his eyes for this, is Hot Dogs. Not only are they high in sodium and saturated fats, but they also increase your risk of heart disease.

"Consumption of processed meats is associated with higher incidence of coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus. High intake of red and processed meat is associated with significant increased risk of colorectal, colon and rectal cancers. If you want to reduce your risk of cancer, ditch the dogs," Glassman says in the article.

Second on Glassman's list is Pretzels. "They have no fiber, no protein and no healthy fat to keep you satisfied or add health benefits to the calories you’re consuming," Glassman says. Instead, Glassman suggests you have some nuts or any other snack that's full of fiber.

Also on her list are Processed Pastries and Diet Soda. For diet soda, Glassman says that just because it's calorie-free doesn't mean it's chemical-free. She also notes that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda can trigger insulin, which can lead to weight gain.

In the article, Glassman says, "Diet soda has also been linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, when compared to regular soda. No, I'm not telling you to go grab a Sprite or regular Coke. Swap out the diet soda for club soda bubbles instead."

Processed Pastries are filled with refined sugars, refined wheat flour, and unhealthy trans fats, Glassman notes. If you want to have a sweet, Glassman advises that you make it homemade. It'll make your house smell better, too.

Last on Glassman's list is Fluorescent Orange Snacks, citing that they are full of salt, chemicals, and artificial coloring. "Some grocery stores won’t even sell foods with artificial colors. Let’s applaud those stores and jump on the bandwagon and refuse to serve them in our homes too," Glassman said.

Jason Sayanlar, a cardiologist at the Hackensack University Medical Center has his own list of bad foods. “It’s unreasonable to expect you to eat healthy foods 100 percent of the time, but for better health, aim to eat nutritious foods at least 80 percent of the time. That means sweets, snacks and other junk food should only be occasional treats, rather than the bulk of your diet,” Sayanlar says in an article for the Hackensack Meridian Health website.

On Sayanlar's list, he has Hot Dogs, or processed meats, just like Glassman. Sayanlar warns that people who eat processed meats are at a greater risk of cancer or heart disease.

Other items on his list include foods with added salt, like crackers, pretzels, breads, or canned soup. Sayanlar cites that the average person has too much sodium in their diet, which can lead to high blood pressure, and these foods are a reason why.

Sayanlar also includes foods with added sugar, such as ice cream, cookies, sugary breakfast cereals, and cake.

"Most Americans eat considerably more than the recommended amount of sugar every day. It may lurk in places where you least expect it, like salad dressing, tomato sauce or sliced bread. But if you reach for a muffin at breakfast and ice cream for dessert, you’re knowingly consuming sugar regularly. Too much may lead to weight gain and increase your risk of diabetes," Sayanlar says in the article.

So, what did you think of their list of foods that could be harmful to you? Did any of them surprise you? Are you going to cut down on some of these foods? Comment below and let me know!

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