8 foods cardiologists try to avoid

Bacon, sausage and meats

The World Health Organization has determined eating processed meats causes cancer, Freeman pointed out.

Potato chips

Hayes agrees with many nutritionists that simple carbs — found in chips, breads and crackers — are a bigger issue than fat. Look for ways to increase the complexity


When it comes to desserts like pies, ice cream and candy bars, Hayes indulges once a week at most and keeps her portion small to limit calories.

Too much protein

the extra protein often comes from meats high in saturated fats, which may raise LDL or bad cholesterol, and comes at the expense of other food groups

Fast food

It’s been years since Hayes has had any fast food. Some chains let you concoct a reasonably healthy item with fresh vegetables, but most burger and chicken fast food restaurants avoided

Energy drinks

Freeman said he avoids them because they contain added sugar, plus ingredients that may potentially induce problems like high blood pressure or arrhythmia.

Added salt

Added salt lurks in products you may not realize: cereal, a pickle that comes with your sandwich or a chicken breast that’s been brined to stay juicy and moist.

Coconut oil

It has more saturated fat than lard, Freeman said. “It’s used in some studies to induce atherosclerosis — sludge in the pipes, if you will, in rats and other animals,” he noted.