Foods that Clog Your Arteries

08 January, 2019
We should avoid eating dangerous fats that can clog our arteries as much as possible; instead we should choose a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables

When your arteries are clogged, your blood cannot be transported as it should. This increases your risk of suffering from cardiac diseases. Therefore, it’s very important that you maintain good arterial health and that you avoid the accumulation of fat in the body to prevent clogged arteries.

There are some foods that can cause cardiovascular problems. Would you like to know what they are? Then keepe reading!

Why do arteries get clogged?

There are different risk factors that increase the possibility of suffering cardiac problems as a result of clogged arteries. For example, hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity.

However, there are also other causes related to our habits:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Not exercising
  • Eating foods filled with fats

Little by little, the fat (or plaque) accumulates in the walls of our arteries, narrowing them and causing them to stiffen. When this happens, our blood cannot flow like it normally does.

In many cases, the clogged arteries do not show any symptoms (similar to what happens with cholesterol). Unfortunately, we usually don’t realize there’s a problem until it causes a heart attack.

That’s why it’s very important to follow a balanced diet that’s rich in raw fruits and vegetables to avoid processed foods and to do physical activity.

What foods should you avoid to have healthy arteries?

Foods rich in saturated fats are the first that you should stop eating. The problem is that they’re also the most delicious foods and the ones that cause the most addictions.

It’s very important that you are conscious of the dangers they have so that you can reduce your consumption of them.

The foods that cause fat accumulation in the walls of the arteries are:

1. Meat

clogged arteries

Meat is high in saturated fats and cholesterol. Even meats that are considered “lean” can increase levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) in the blood.

Processed meats like sausages, hot dogs and bacon, for example, not only contain high levels of saturated fats, but also added salt that make them even worse.

  • Eating these products more than twice a week contributes to the development of cardiac diseases.

2. Eggs

When it comes to eggs, yolks contain a good amount of lipoproteins that clog arteries.

One egg provides 5 grams of fat and 186 mg of cholesterol (that means more than half of your recommended daily value).

However, it’s important to note that when you eat them cooked or baked, the levels of fat are less than when they’re fried.

3. Poultry skin

Poultry skin

For example, this could be skin from a chicken or turkey. They both contribute to the increase of fats in the walls of the arteries.

For example, chicken wings are often fried without removing the skin. Although it may seem harmless, this skin is high in calories and lipoproteins.

Just one fried chicken wing has 10 grams of fat and 160 calories. Before cooking poultry, it’s recommended that you remove the skin. If you want to fry it, do so with olive oil or cooking spray and not butter.

4. Dairy

We often consume it daily and we don’t realize that it can be very dangerous for our health, especially when we choose the “whole milk” options.

Milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ice creams and cream…they all contribute to the accumulation of plaque and the clogging of arteries.

For example, butter is made with a cream that’s rich in saturated fats. It’s recommended that you choose products made with skim milk or that are low in fat, as well as reduce your daily consumption.

5. Trans fats

Trans fats

Many of the foods that we eat on a daily basis contain trans fat or partially hydrogenated fatty acids. They are one of the main causes of clogged arteries.

  • They are mainly found in processed foods, in margarine, in baked goods and frostings.

When you go grocery shopping, we recommend that you take a look at the labels to inform yourself about hydrogenated oils that are used for that particular product.

6. Pastries and sweets

Popcorn contains butter, pastries and donuts contain fat and sugar, some cookies are made with dairy…

The sweets that we eat at midmorning or for breakfast (such as churros or donuts) are made with ingredients that are dangerous for our health.

They are low in antioxidants and fibers and high in fats, refined flour and sugars. All of these ingredients clog our arteries.

The same thing happens with pastries. That is why we recommend replacing them with fresh fruit or healthy snacks (for example, granola or sugar-free cereal bars).

7. Oils and salty snacks

Oils and salty snacks

The majority of oils that are used in the kitchen (corn, sunflower, etc.) are rich in saturated fats. These don’t benefit our cardiovascular health.

Also, the typical snacks that we like to “pick at” (french fries, peanuts, etc.) are made with these types of oil.

For cooking, we recommend that you use oils that contain unsaturated fats such as, olive or rapeseed.

8. Junk food

In this section we could name pizza and hamburgers, but there are so many other examples.

All of these foods have a lot of fat and cholesterol. Also, in many cases they contain chemical and artificial ingredients that make them taste better and increase their commercial performance.

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  • Ronan Lordan et al., “Dairy Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: Do We Really Need to Be Concerned?”, Foods. 2018 Mar; 7(3): 29.
  • Taraka V. Gadiraju et al. “Fried Food Consumption and Cardiovascular Health: A Review of Current Evidence”, Nutrients. 2015 Oct; 7(10): 8424–8430.
  • Leah E Cahill et al. “Fried-food consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease: a prospective study in 2 cohorts of US women and men“, Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Aug; 100(2): 667–675.
  • Gebauer SK et al. “Vaccenic acid and trans fatty acid isomers from partially hydrogenated oil both adversely affect LDL cholesterol: a double-blind, randomized controlled trial”, Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec;102(6):1339-46.