Question: Are there any foods that I should avoid because they might increase my risk of developing heart disease?
Answer: The foods that can increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease tend to be those that are high in saturated and trans fatty acids. That means fats of the animal origin -- so, meats, fat that's in meat, fat that's in dairy. There are lots of different alternatives because now we have leaner cuts of meats that are available, which you really should be choosing, and low or non-fat dairy products.
And then the other fat that can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease is trans fatty acids. And those tend to occur in foods that are made with partially hydrogenated fat, so those would be your commercially fried and baked products. Fortunately, there is a big effort to decrease the use of partially hydrogenated fats, and also, the FDA has mandated that there's labeling on food packages.
So it's relatively easy at this point to choose foods that are not made with partially hydrogenated fats and choose foods that are lower in fat in terms of animal fat -- meat and dairy -- and instead use vegetable oils that are unsaturated.