Clogged arteries: 4 tips to prevent atherosclerosis


Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and eating well can help prevent plaque buildup in your arteries. Atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in your arteries causing them to harden and narrow, develops slowly over several years.

Your chances of developing atherosclerosis depend on several different risk factors. Some of them cannot be changed, such as your age and your personal and family medical history. But other factors that influence the onset of atherosclerosis are partially or totally within your control. These are mainly your eating habits, the amount of exercise you do and your tobacco consumption.

Some risk factors for atherosclerosis are measured values ​​that cannot be changes on their own, such as body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels. But there are steps you can take to reduce these risks, whether it’s leading an active and healthy lifestyle or taking the medications prescribed by your doctor. It is important to take all possible steps to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis, as complications of this disease can include life-threatening medical emergencies such as stroke or heart attack.

4 tips to prevent atherosclerosis

1 Quit smoking

If you smoke, quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to reduce your risk of atherosclerosis and other risk factors for heart disease. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease. One of the main fatal consequences of smoking is the deterioration of blood vessels. Cigarette smoke contains a number of toxic chemicals that enter your bloodstream. These chemicals increase your risk of atherosclerosis in several different ways, including increasing inflammation in your arteries and making platelets in your blood clot more easily. If you smoke or use tobacco in any other form, ask your doctor for an effective quitting strategy.

2 Eat a heart-healthy diet

Your diet is a particularly important factor in your risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease in general. A heart-healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats and poultry, low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, and legumes (dried beans and peas). It also limits the intake of sodium, saturated and trans fats, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.

The following food groups and foods form the basis of a healthy diet for the core:


Good choices include fresh and frozen varieties of almost any vegetable, making sure particularly to obtain a variety of colors and textures.

It is however important to limit vegetables in creamy sauce, vegetables canned foods with high sodium content and those that are fried or breaded.


Fresh or frozen, as well as those canned or preserved in juice or water, are good choices. Avoid canned fruit in high sugar syrup and frozen fruit with added sugar.


Whole grains should form the basis of your cereal intake. Here are some good choices:

– Bread made from whole grains

– Cereals rich in fibres

– Pasta made from whole grains

– oats

– Brown rice

– Barley

– Quinoa

Avoid or limit the following foods:

– White bread

– croissants

– Donuts

– Cookies

– Cakes

– Legs- Noodles

Dairy products

Good choices are skimmed milk, cheese and yogurt. Avoid or limit whole milk and other dairy products in your diet.

Foods high in protein

It is important to include lean sources of protein in your diet, whether animal or vegetarian.

Good sources of protein include the following

– Lean meats

– Poultry without the skin

– Fish, especially fatty cold water fish (salmon, tuna, trout)

– Eggs

– Soy products (tofu, tempeh, soy burgers)

– legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas).

Avoid or limit the following:

– Fatty meats

– Chicken wings

– Hot dogs, sausages and charcuterie

– Meat, fish or poultry p aged or fried.

Oils and Fats

It is important to include healthy fats in your diet, ideally in the least refined form possible, preferring nuts and seeds to refined oils.

Some oils are nevertheless considered as healthier choices, and it is important to choose varieties of nuts and seeds that are lightly salted or unsalted.

Healthy sources of fats are as follows:

– Nuts and nut butters

– Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame)

– Lawyers

– the olive, sesame, sunflower, corn and soybean oils.

Sources of fat to avoid are

– Butter

– Cream and cream-based sauces

– Non-dairy creams

– Margarine made with hydrogenated oils s

– Palm, palm kernel and coconut oils

3 Get enough exercise

In addition to your diet, exercise is a key part of a heart-healthy lifestyle. Physical activity can help your muscles use oxygen more efficiently and improve your blood circulation by promoting the growth of new blood vessels. It can also reduce high blood pressure, an important risk factor for atherosclerosis. A good rule of thumb is to get 29 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise most days of the week. If necessary, you can break these exercises down into 10 minute increments. However, more intense physical activity is even more beneficial to health, and it is always better to exercise less than recommended than to exercise at all. In fact, just one hour of moderate aerobic exercise per week has been shown to benefit your health.

Aerobic exercise is any physical activity that increases heart rate and breathing. Good choices may include:

– Walking

– Running or Jogging

– Cycling

– Swimming

– Cross-country skiing

– Aerobics

– Elliptical machines

– Stair Climbing Machines)

4 Consider These Numbers

Although you can’t control them directly, several body measurements have been shown to correlate with your risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is important to try to stay within the recommended ranges for these measurements, both by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle and by following any treatment your doctor prescribes for it.

The following values ​​are important to monitor:

– blood pressure

– cholesterol level blood

– blood sugar level (as shown by screening tests if you are not diabetic).

– body weight

– waist size

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