Bacon, ham, hot dogs, and sausages are a part of many Americans’ daily diets but Jennifer Haythe, MD, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia Presbyterian in New York City won’t go near them. “These products are literally dripping with saturated fats. And we know that sausage and processed meats have been linked to heart failure and cancer,” says Dr. Haythe. What exactly is in processed meat? Processed meat refers to meat that has been salted, cured, fermented or smoked to improve its shelf life. While these foods are quick and convenient, the chemicals and sodium used in processed foods are harmful for our hearts, especially when eaten in larger quantities. Hot dogs also make an appearance on our must-read list of foods to never, ever eat raw.
A tender and juicy steak topped with mushrooms sauteed in butter is a meal you may want to reserve for a special occasion. “That delicious steak in front of you is full of saturated fats, cholesterol, and salt,” says Dr. Haythe. Dr. Haythe advises all her patients to limit red meat to once a month. When you do eat read meat, looks for leaner cuts like eye of round roast, top roast, top sirloin, and sirloin tips. Uses spices and herbs for flavor and steer clear of butter, cream, and hollandaise sauces. And if you’re out to eat, avoid ordering bone-in steaks and these other foods you should never eat at a restaurant.