1. Processed meats: eat none or less than 2 servings (2-3 ounces) per week. Processed meats are those preserved using salts, nitrites, or other preservatives. They include hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, and other deli meats, including deli ham, turkey, bologna, and chicken. Long-term observational studies have found that the worst types of meats for the heart are those that are processed.
2. Highly refined and processed grains and carbohydrates: eat none or at most 7 servings (one ounce) per week. Studies have linked whole grain intake — in place of starches (like potatoes) and refined carbohydrates (like white bread, white rice, and low-fiber breakfast cereals) — to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and possibly stroke. Whole grains are also linked to lower weight gain over time. Whole grains lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and may improve blood vessel function and reduce hunger.
Refined or processed foods include white bread, white rice, low-fiber breakfast cereals, sweets and sugars, and other refined or processed carbohydrates.
High levels of processing remove many of the most healthful components in whole grains, such as dietary fiber, minerals, phytochemicals, and fatty acids.
High levels of processing destroy the food’s natural structure. For example, eating a food made of finely milled oats (e.g., Cheerios) or grains (e.g., typically finely milled whole-grain bread) produces much higher spikes in blood sugar than less-processed versions such as steel-cut oats or stone-ground bread.
Processing often adds many ingredients that are less healthy, particularly trans fats, sodium, and sugars. Fourth, some research shows that fructose is metabolized differently than other sugars, in a way that increases the liver’s production of new fat. Fructose represents about half of the sugar in sweeteners like high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose (found in cane sugar and beet sugar). That’s not to suggest that you never eat a slice of pie or white bread — just make them an occasional treat rather than a regular part of your diet.
3. Soft drinks and other sugary drinks: drink none at most seven 8-ounce servings per week (one 8-ounce serving per day). The examples are sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, and sports drinks. A 12-ounce can of soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of table sugar. Diet sodas are sugar-free or low in calories, but have no nutrients.
Sugary drinks have all the same ill effects on the heart as highly refined and processed carbohydrates. The body does not compute the calories you ingest in liquid form in the same way as it does the calories you take in from solid foods. So if you add a soda to your meal, you are likely to eat about the same amount of calories from the rest of your food as if you drank water instead. The soda calories are just “added on.” In addition to the other harms of highly refined and processed carbohydrates, sugary drinks also increase your chances of weight gain. (Source Harvard HEALTH beat)