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Skip these 5 Foods for Better Heart Health

There’s no shortage of marketing messages about what’s best for heart health and some of it is well, just plain wrong. Here’s my top 5 offenders – don’t believe their hype, choose my real deals instead.

1) The”Oat” cereals

AKA the Sugar & chem lab project bombs – cereals like Honey nut cheerios & Honey bunches of oats or getting “fully loaded” oatmeal with added sugar & dried fruit – my heart just skipped a beat – not in a good way. AKA better: choose organic oats and add spices, nut butter and / or hemp seeds. We are loving Natures Path’s new plain Qi’a oatmeal

2) Fat-free dairy

Mooooove away from this stuff – research shows full-fat dairy is associated with lower risk of obesity (which means lower heart disease risk too) and likely due to the hormone profile change when the fat is removed, as well as the fact that without the fat it’s harder to feel full which means you fill up on other calories. AKA better: choose organic whole milk or skip the dairy and choose full fat coconut or cashew etc.

3) Pieces, Parts and Puffs

While potatoes pack in heart healthy potassium and rice provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – when we over process them and then add salt and other chemistry lab projects we end up with a heartbreak. AKA better: whole bean or potato chips with added spices not loads of salt.

4) Soy sauce or soy protein isolate in bars or protein powders

We hear soy and think heart health but the truth is these are heart failures. Highly processed parts of soy contain none of the good stuff – fiber, omegas, antioxidants that we find in whole organic soybeans. AKA better: whole organic soybeans or organic tofu or organic tempeh – and “protein” powders and bars that contain them or other whole quality plant sources like hemp and quinoa.

5) Heart shaped candies

They look so love-ly and even have such sweet quotes on them. But they aren’t the sweet friend for heart health that you think – artificial dyes and chemistry lab corn syrup are not the basis of a lasting love affair. AKA better: choose a little heart-healthy organic dark chocolate (that’s >65%) and if you do want candy try authentic sweets – organic, free of artificial dyes etc – like those from our friends at TruSweets.

Originally printed on ashleykoffapproved.com. Reprinted with permission.


Ashley Koff RD is your better health enabler. For decades, Koff has helped thousands get and keep better health by learning to make their better not perfect nutrition choices more often. A go-to nutrition expert for the country’s leading doctors, media, companies and non-profit organizations, Koff regularly shares her Better Nutrition message with millions on national and local television, magazines and newspapers. Visit her website at ashleykoffapproved.com.

MFN Industry Expert