Treats with tropical oils
You already know how to read a label for sugar and fat content, but one thing you should really look out for is the oils in the ingredient list. While Etherton says olive, canola, and sunflower oils are actually pretty excellent, tropical oils are the devil as far as your ticker is concerned. (Those include coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils.) Most potato chip companies ditched those guys years ago, but tropical oils are still present in some snacks, particularly packaged cakes and cookies.
Etherton cautions that even lighter Thai food can be stealthily unhealthy, but Chinese is the far guiltier takeout order. "Just look at something like General Tso's," he says. "It's got so much sodium and fat, plus it's fried." While that's an extreme example, the sodium levels in most Chinese food were concerning enough to merit an American Heart Association guide.