Food brings comfort to your soul but does it have the same effect when it comes to your health, specifically your heart?
The simple act of fulfilling your food craving can make your day. All you’ll need to do is eat exactly what you feel like eating and it’ll guarantee a smile on your face.
The problem is, food that we generally tend to crave for, tend to be on the unhealthier side. Let’s face it, how often would you crave for a healthy salad (without the unhealthy dressing) as compared to enjoying a scoop of your favourite ice-cream? Or have you ever heard of someone craving for a cup of green tea as compared to bubble tea?
Biting into a burger or enjoying a cup of boba milk tea once in a blue moon may not hurt but sometimes, unhealthy foods become a part of your daily meal choices and that is when it might hurt your cardiovascular health.
Plus, sometimes, you might enjoy food that you love without actually knowing that it could affect your heart health. So, we’ve compiled a list of foods that generally most people tend to enjoy but could cause cardiovascular diseases in the long run.
#1 Boba tea
Probably one of the unhealthiest drinks ever concocted, if you’re part of the ongoing bubble or boba tea fad, this is definitely not something you might want to hear but we’ve got to reveal it to you because ultimately, your health is all that matters at the end of the day.
Filled with all-things sugar, a cup of brown sugar boba milk tea which is currently one of the trendiest drinks of the year, contains about 18.5 teaspoons of sugar. The recommended daily sugar intake by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is six teaspoons of sugar. Hence, if you do the math, you’re exceeding your daily sugar intake three times more by sipping on just one cup of boba tea.
Though, if you’re not a big fan of brown sugar boba and decide to opt for a healthier option like ‘wintermelon tea’, don’t be deceived either because wintermelon tea doesn’t stray far with 16 teaspoons of sugar in just one cup!
Hidden sugars is one the most health-threatening ingredients when it comes to your heart health because you can never have an exact idea of your exact sugar intake. Why is sugar so bad for your heart in the first place?
While sugar is converted to energy in your body, high levels of sugar intake could alter your body’s fat metabolism and this could raise your risk of heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, which is the build up of plaque in your blood vessels that could turn detrimental.
A 2017 study by researchers from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that with just three months of a high sugar diet by an otherwise healthy individual could already alter your fat metabolism.
So, if you believe that the occasional boba tea craving will not hurt because after all, it’s made from scratch with the freshest ingredients, be sure to consider other factors such as the type of ingredients the drink consists of.
This English breakfast staple may not be a type of food that Asians consume on a daily basis but in recent times, bacon has been a popular choice amongst some diet plans.
Typically made out of red meat, the nutritional value of bacon depends on its processing method and the manufacturer. Bacon is cured meat and this generally means adding large amounts of salt to the meat to cure it, which then makes it possible for it to have a longer shelf life as compared to fresh meat.
High levels of sodium is linked to hypertension and according to the American Heart Association, just six thin slices of processed meat can contain half of the recommended daily intake of sodium.
On top of that, bacon and like many other types of processed meat, is known for its high levels of saturated fat, which can have an effect on your cholesterol levels.
Eating bacon in moderation may not cause any harm but enjoying it or any other processed food often can damage your heart and arteries. So, if you’re a huge fan of bacon, perhaps save it to be enjoyed during special occasions instead.
#3 Deep-fried everything
It’s no surprise that deep fried food made it to the list and because this food preparation method remains one of the most common, it then makes deep-fried food readily available in our community.
From you tiao (chinese fried dough), pisang goreng (banana fritters), ayam goreng berempah (fried chicken with spices) to crispy fried fish fillets and French fries, these types of food are cooked in hot oil, which tends to break down during the cooking process and changes the composition of the oil’s fatty acid.
Deep-fried foods are rich in trans-fat, which raises unhealthy cholesterol levels and increases your risk of not only developing heart diseases but other life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and stroke too. Plus, do take note that the risk increases if the oil is reused, which tends to be a common practice in many eateries or stalls as deep-frying require a large amount of oil to be used.
So, find healthier alternatives that could be equally delicious such as air-frying or grilling which could still give you that crispiness in your food, without the need to submerge your food in oil.
If you tend to give in to your food cravings, which typically consist of the food mentioned, perhaps it’s time to find healthier options or save these foods for special occasions.