Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., so you need to drop these heart-harming foods from your diet now!

The heart: It’s our most vital organ, but if you ask someone how to best care for yours, they’ll likely tell you to find a nice guy who won’t break it into a million pieces. (Thanks, mom!) Even M.D.s aren’t the best source of heart advice: The average primary care office visit lasts just 10 minutes. So, even if your ticker is in danger, most docs will just tell you to watch what you eat and send you on our way, no other details provided.

That’s not the very prescription to put into practice, and that’s why we’re here to help. foods, food & dining, cooking, health, nutrition, healthy eating, foods, food & dining, cooking, health, nutrition, healthy eating

Because They’re High in Salt

Many people know that eating too much salt can raise their blood pressure. But not everyone realizes that uncontrolled high BP can cause their arteries to harden and narrow, increasing the risk of heart disease. That’s not all: Research has also linked obesity to high sodium intake while a JAMA study found that overweight men with the highest salt intakes were 61 percent more likely to die of heart disease than those who consume less of the mineral.

You already know foods like chips and pretzels pack a lot of salt, but here we reveal 10 less-obvious sources of sodium that are making your blood pressure soar. Commit them to memory and keep them far away from your mouth!

1. Canned Vegetables

Veggies may be a cornerstone of a blood-pressure-friendly diet, but not the ones that come out of a can. The preservatives and sauces that keep the vitamin-filled veggies company inside the container are packed with sodium, earning them a spot on our list of foods bad for the heart. Look for “no salt added” or “low sodium” options and be sure to rinse your veggies thoroughly before digging in. Can’t find an unsalted option? Consider switching to frozen vegetables; there are plenty of unsalted selections.

2. Restaurant Soup

Get this: P.F. Chang’s Hot & Sour Soup Bowl, packs an artery-shivering 3,800 milligrams of sodium. That’s more than four days’ worth or the equivalent of about 21—yes, 21—individual bags of Cool Ranch Doritos. Not all restaurant’s bowls of broth are quite that salt-filled, but even chains like Ruby Tuesday and Applebee’s don’t ladle out anything with less than half a day’s sodium per bowl.

3. Cold Cuts

According to a Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine report, only 33 percent of Americans are looking to cut back on sodium; however, according to a Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study, nearly half of Americans consume a sandwich every day—one of the top source of salt in the American diet. Coincidental? We think not. The bread and condiments certainly don’t help the salt situation, but cold cuts and cheese are the primary culprits, contributing about 250 milligrams of sodium per slice. And let’s be real: we all use at least three or four slices of the stuff, which equates to 1,000 milligrams of salt in a single sitting… Show More

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