Worst Foods For Your Heart

Deep fried chicken, deep dish pepperoni pizza, gravy slathered fries, sugar dipped donuts, and burgers dripping with ooey-gooey cheese—my arteries are clogging up just thinking about it!

The following foods are some of the worst culprits when it comes to heart health. Sure, when eaten in moderation, you can get away with the odd croissant or eggs Bennie, but if these foods are a regular part of your diet, your heart may be suffering the delicious consequences…

Red Meat

Hard chewing carnivores probably aren’t too happy to hear that red meat is not so great for your heart if it’s a regular part of your diet. But luckily, you can enjoy a steak in moderation. Consider it more like a treat meal every few weeks rather than your regular Tuesday and Thursday night meal and you’ll stay heart healthy with a lean cut of sirloin, a thick slice of eye of round roast, or sirloin tips.

Butter Croissants

Sure, the French stay pretty trim, but they don’t eat layers of buttery bread served warm and toasty with more butter on top several times a day. Did you know that just one measly butter croissant soars with a calorie content of 231 plus 12-grams of fat! No wonder the French walk everywhere!


No, regardless of what you tell yourself for solace, pizza is not a designated food group. In fact, your doughy, pepperoni covered, and cheese slathered pie will eat up almost two thirds of your maximum daily recommended intake of saturated fat. Not to mention most of the ingredients on your favorite take-out pizza are all processed and super high in sodium.

Make your own healthier pizza at home by making your own whole wheat thin crust and using lean chicken breast, fresh veggies, and low fat cheese as toppings.

Eggs Benedict

Eggs don’t sound like a heart-stopping breakfast—well, until you consider the English muffin dripping in butter and smothered in fatty Hollandaise sauce. If you add bacon, you’re looking at almost 700 calories and 35-grams of fat. Doesn’t sound like the healthiest way to start your day, does it?

Double Cheeseburgers

No matter if you disguise it with all of the fresh veggies in your garden, that cheeseburger (not to mention the heart-attack-inducing double cheeseburger) can equal up to 1000 calories thanks to all of the fat in the processed red meat, sliced cheese, and sesame bun. Add mayo and, gasp, fried onions, and your heart won’t be begging for more even if your stomach is.

Fettuccine Alfredo

The sauce alone is a fatty, calorie-laden combination of heavy cream, butter, and cheese, and that’s not even considering the processed white pasta in your bowl of fettuccine Alfredo—particularly if you’re eating it out. Instead, try making a healthier version at home by using whole wheat pasta noodles and making the sauce with low fat milk or plain yogurt and incorporating some fresh vegetables.

Breaded Chicken

It’s a common belief that if you choose a chicken sandwich over a beef burger, you’re doing yourself a favor as far as cutting fat and calories. However, most take-out chicken sandwiches are breaded and fried, which makes them just as bad, if not worse, than their beefy menu buddies.


Processed meat is basically a slice, or in this case a tube, of saturated fat, sodium, and highly processed ingredients, which are downright awful for your heart health. In fact, the artery-clogging effects of too much processed meat have been linked to high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure.


When you consider the foods and drinks that are bad for your heart, you probably shun saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. However, calories from refined sugar contribute to obesity and related type 2 diabetes just as much as calories from fat.

And soda is blamed for spiking the hormone that regulates glucose in the blood so high that drinking just one can of pop a day can increase your chances of a heart attack by a shocking 20-percent!

Ramen Noodles

This particularly sodium-soaring instant noodle dish contains a surprising 1,500-milligram (or more) of sodium per serving. So before you stock your shelves with this super convenient college staple; consider that what you’re saving in dollars is damaging your cholesterol and heart health.


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.