A high-sugar diet can help keep your body from absorbing iron from foods like green leafy vegetables and spinach.
That’s because these foods contain iron, which is the building block of iron, according to the American Heart Association.
If you’re eating foods with more iron, your body won’t absorb as much iron from those foods.
The best foods to avoid include spinach, broccoli, kale, spinach smoothies, broccoli sprouts, and leafy greens like kale, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.
Eating a green smoothie can also help boost your iron absorption.
Eat a handful of fresh spinach, kale leaves, or other leafy green veggies each day.
It’s the right amount of iron to absorb from those vegetables.
And if you have a family history of heart disease, try reducing your iron intake.
The American Heart Associations guidelines call for eating a minimum of 20 grams of iron per day.
“There’s a reason why green leafiness is so high in red leafy veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower,” said Dr. David W. Smith, a cardiologist at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.
“It’s the iron they have.”
The American Dietetic Association recommends limiting servings of leafy plants and fruit to 1 cup a day.
If that sounds like a lot, you’re not alone.
“I’ve seen people eat more than that in some cases,” Smith said.
You may also want to try adding a green tea, a nutrient rich drink made from green tea berries that is rich in antioxidants.
The green tea’s health benefits are also backed by the National Cancer Institute.
“You can actually see that you get less oxidative stress and oxidative stress is a risk factor for heart disease,” Smith added.
Avoiding red meat, dairy, and eggs are also healthy choices.
“People tend to eat more meat and dairy if they have a history of cardiovascular disease or other heart problems,” Smith explained.
“But when it comes to iron absorption, green leafies and spinach are pretty good choices.”
To reduce iron absorption and boost iron absorption without having a history or current heart disease or cancer, you can make healthy changes to your diet.
For instance, if you’re worried about iron absorption because you’ve had a heart attack, try eating more protein instead of red meat.
Also, if your family history is linked to elevated cholesterol or high blood pressure, try adding some cholesterol-lowering medications like statins.
To lower iron absorption from your diet, be sure to get the right type of iron supplements.
If your doctor prescribes a low-dose vitamin D3 supplement or supplements for your skin or eyes, ask to see a doctor.
“Iron absorption and metabolism are the main ways we absorb iron from food,” Smith suggested.