Which Foods Are Best for Your Heart Health?

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Mercola Articles

By Dr. Mercola

Your diet is an important, if not crucial, factor for the maintenance of a healthy heart well into old age. Healthy dietary fats top the list of heart-healthy foods, of course, but aside from that, a nitrate-rich diet can go a long way toward protecting your heart.

Nitrates should not be confused with nitrites, found in bacon, hot dogs, ham and other less-than-healthy cured meats. Nitrites can convert into potentially dangerous nitrosamines, especially if heated, which is why processed meats are best avoided. In fact, after examining over 7,000 clinical studies, the World Cancer Research Fund concluded there’s no safe lower limit for processed meats.1 They should be avoided altogether.

On the other hand, many vegetables contain naturally occurring nitrates. When consumed, the bacteria in your mouth convert these nitrates to nitrites, but since vegetables are also rich in antioxidants, these nitrites do not pose a health

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