Food & Nutrition

45 Things Heart Doctors Do to Protect Their Own Hearts

“I skip the hot dogs”


“According to a Harvard University analysis, there is strong evidence for association between the consumption of processed red meats, such as sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meat, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and early death.”—Michael Fenster, MD, interventional cardiologist, chef, and author of The Fallacy of the Calorie: Why the Modern Western Diet Is Killing Us and How to Stop It. Here are 13 more foods cardiologists never eat.

“I lost weight”

Things-Heart-Doctors-Do-to-Protect-Their-Own-HeartsMita Stock Images/Shutterstock

“About ten years ago, I found myself 40 pounds overweight. I also had not been to a doctor for many years at that time. I made an appointment to see my doctor but not until I went on a diet, joined a gym, and over a year lost the 40 pounds.” A 2016 study found that being overweight could take one to three years off your life, while being obese may take as many as eight—and the effect is three times worse for men than for women.—Mark Greenberg, MD, director of the White Plains Hospital Catheterization Lab and medical director of interventional cardiology at Montefiore Health System

“I eat dairy instead of taking calcium supplements”

Things-Heart-Doctors-Do-to-Protect-Their-Own-HeartsAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

“Many Americans buy vitamin and mineral supplements when their money could be better spent purchasing high-quality foods. We recently conducted a study that found that taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage. But the good news is that a diet high in calcium-rich foods may be protective.”—Erin Michos, MD, MHS, associate director of preventive cardiology and associate professor of medicine at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Don’t miss these other foods that can help unclog your arteries.

“I got tested for sleep disorders”

Things-Heart-Doctors-Do-to-Protect-Their-Own-Heartsl i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock

“Sleep apnea, one of the most common sleep disorders, causes you to take long pauses in breathing during sleep. This can starve your organs of oxygen and wreak havoc on your heart health, potentially causing heart attacks, arrhythmias, heart failure, strokes, and high blood pressure.”—Adam Splaver, MD

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