Tips to Prevent Atherosclerosis

By  , Expert Content
Apr 05, 2012

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Atherosclerosis leads to complications such as heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease together called the "cardiovascular disease." These have become the leading cause of death in men and women globally. Although, atherosclerosis has become an epidemic, this deadly process is preventable and treatable. Following the given tips can help to prevent and reduce the risk of complications due to atherosclerosis.

  • Eat healthy: According to experts, healthy diet includes 6-8 servings of bread, cereal or rice, 2-4 servings of fresh fruit, 3-5 servings of fresh or frozen vegetables, 2-3 servings of non-fat milk, yogurt or cheese and 2-3 servings of lean meat, poultry, fish or dry beans. Limit the maximum calories from fat to less than 30% of total calories in every meal. Foods rich in fat, processed foods, refined grains and simple sugars should be limited. A healthy diet should be low in salt (reduce dietary intake of sodium).
  • Maintain healthy body weight: If you are obese or overweight, try to reduce and maintain a healthy body weight (body mass index in the recommended range of 18.5–24.9 kg/m2). Being obese increases the risk of atherosclerosis and other lifestyle related disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and low good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol). Consult your doctor or a dietician to design a practical weight-loss plan for you. Being at a healthy weight helps to decrease the risk of atherosclerosis.
  • Be physically active: Exercising regularly has many benefits such as it reduces your bad cholesterol and blood pressure, improves blood sugar control in diabetes, decreases the risk of atherosclerosis, improves your fitness level and health. It increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL) and controls weight as well. Any exercise (walking, swimming, biking or aerobics) for at least 30 minutes, 3-5 times a week is considered enough to improve cardiovascular health. Your doctor can advice you more on the exercise that is best for you.
  • Limit consumption of alcohol and quit smoking: These can be considered as important measures to reduce your risk of atherosclerosis.

If lifestyle changes aren't enough to control your blood cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis, your doctor may prescribe medicines. Following your doctor’s recommendations regarding lifestyle changes and medications are important to prevent complications such as heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease.


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