The #1 Food Putting You At Risk of Heart Disease, Says Science

Let’s set the record straight here—no food will give you heart disease.

Currently, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several factors that can contribute to heart disease risk. This includes family history as well as other underlying conditions, such as high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, and obesity.

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However, there are a few types of foods that are known to be bad for your heart. These include ones that are loaded in saturated and trans fats. With this in mind, one of the top foods that could increase your risk of heart disease is a meat lover’s pizza.

The American Heart Association (AHA) says that regularly eating foods that are high in saturated fats can raise your blood cholesterol levels. Processed meats, like sausage, pepperoni, ham, salami, and prosciutto can elevate the harmful kind of cholesterol, known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Having high levels of LDL cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease and even stroke, per the CDC.

Processed meat is also loaded with sodium, which can place stress on your heart as well. Consistently consuming foods that are high in sodium can raise your blood pressure levels, which can ultimately have a detrimental effect on your heart health. The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day, far above the suggested 2,300 milligrams.

Meat lover’s pizza aside, there are plenty of other foods that are to blame for having a high sodium content. Nearly 70% of people’s dietary sodium intake comes from eating packaged and prepared foods. The FDA recently intervened, asking restaurants and food manufacturers to cut the sodium content in their menu items and food products. The goal is to help Americans reduce their overall sodium intake by 12% over the next 2.5 years.

In the interim, avoid eating a meat lover’s pizza—as well as these unhealthy pizza orders—every time you order takeout. Remember moderation is key to longevity.

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