Nova Scotia salmon also called Nova lox
Foods like this Nova Lox sandwich, can increase your risk for heart disease. Credit: Getty Images

If you’re on heart disease watch, either because it runs in your family, or your recent annual physical revealed less-than-perfect results, then adjusting your diet can be one of the greatest things you do to reduce your risk. You likely know to just keep driving when you see your favorite hamburger drive-thru, and you probably know you need to remove the bacon from your bacon-and-eggs breakfast, but did you know that some foods that increase your risk of heart disease aren’t that obvious? In fact, they may be foods that are considered healthy for other reasons, but simply need to be cut back on if you are at risk of heart disease. When you’re adjusting your shopping list for your new heart disease concern, be aware of these surprising foods that increase your risk of heart disease.

Canned vegetables

Yes, they are vegetables, but they’re also canned which means they’ve been loaded with sodium to preserve them. Many people don’t realize that high sodium intake doesn’t only affect blood pressure, it also affects heart health.

Deli turkey

You know to cut back on the red stuff like pastrami and brisket, but any deli meat will be processed, and processed meat is also typically high in sodium. It’s also high in chemicals that can interfere with your metabolism, causing weight gain, which can lead to heart disease.

Tomato juice

How harmful can a little vegetable juice be? Well, tomato juice is much higher in salt than a regular old tomato. If you must have the stuff, then juice your own tomatoes at home. This goes for any vegetable juice.

Lox plate

The lox plate may seem healthier than a bagel with cream cheese, but smoked salmon and capers are loaded with sodium. Plus, bagels are not exactly easy on the waistline.

Cottage cheese

While cottage cheese may be considered a diet food, what it lacks in calories in makes up for in sodium. If you’d like to get protein from cottage cheese, choose a low-salt variety.

Thick dairy

Any time you add heavy cream to your coffee, or a cream-based soup, you’re asking to clog up your arteries. Find better alternatives when you need cream, like almond milk.

Baked goods

Your cinnamon rolls, dinner biscuits, and store-bought pies have something hiding in their delicious, flaky goodness—trans fats! If it’s baked, but comes in some sort of packaging, it probably contains high levels of trans fats.

Ice cream

Most people only think about the calories and fat in ice cream, but this cold, creamy dessert can also increase your bad cholesterol. If you love the stuff, consider making your own at home by blending frozen bananas with a little sugar.


If you cut out butter, you don’t necessarily get brownie points if you’re substituting in margarine. This yellow food masquerading as a healthy option is high in trans fats.

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