On one side of the coin, we’ve got superfoods that’re good for your heart. On the other side are their evil opposites, foods that damage your cardiovascular system. Here’s a short list:

  • First: Processed meats - like sausage, pepperoni, and hot dogs. They have high levels of sodium that weaken arteries and raise blood pressure, and they contain preservatives and chemicals linked to heart problems, diabetes, and even pancreatic cancer.

  • Also, beware of soda. Harvard University researchers found that drinking one regular soda a day raises your heart attack risk by 20-percent. That’s because sugary drinks increase our body’s inflammation response, which raises blood pressure and damages the heart.

  • Finally, skip the fast food. Most orders combine all the bad things we’ve just mentioned – sugar, sodium, processed meat, and trans fats - into one big, artery-hardening meal, which raises our risk for a heart attack almost immediately! A study in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found that within minutes of eating a fast food meal –– the volunteer’s blood vessels were 24-percent narrower. Which means, if your arteries are partially clogged with plaque, one fast food meal, a little stress, and a rise in blood pressure that your system can’t quite handle - could be enough to trigger a heart attack.