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10 Ways to Prevent Atherosclerosis

10 Ways to Prevent Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition that restricts or completely cuts off the flow of blood in the blood vessels. This is primarily caused by the buildup of plaque, made up of cholesterol and fatty deposits, in the blood vessels. So it’s important to know the best health tips to prevent atherosclerosis to ensure overall health.

If left untreated, atherosclerosis can cause a heart attack, stroke, as well as a host of other ailments. In fact, atherosclerosis related complications are among the leading causes of death worldwide.

health tips to prevent atherosclerosis

Health Tips to Prevent Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a progressive condition, which means that if it’s not dealt with early on, it will gradually keep getting worse. That is why it is important to know the different health tips to prevent atherosclerosis.

Here is what you need to know.

Start eating healthy

Fatty foods are high in cholesterol, which can put you at risk of atherosclerosis. One of the biggest lifestyle changes that you can do is start eating foods that are high in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid too much meats, sweets, or refined grains.

This helps lower the risk of atherosclerosis, as well as other conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

Among the health tips to prevent atherosclerosis, eating healthy ranks among the most effective in terms of lowering your risk.

Engage in daily exercise

Having a sedentary lifestyle directly contributes to the risk of atherosclerosis. So in order to combat this, it is important to engage in daily exercise for at least 30 minutes each day, or about 150 minutes each week.

If you are finding it hard to exercise for 30 minutes straight, then you can break it up into 10 minute sessions in the morning, afternoon, and at night. What is important is that you stay active.

Try to maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight or obese is a known risk factor for atherosclerosis. So it is important to try and keep your weight under control through eating healthy, and daily exercise.

Maintaining a healthy weight also lowers the risk of having diabetes or hypertension, both of which can become life-threatening conditions.

Ideally, you need to maintain a body mass index or BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 to be within your ideal weight for your size.

Quit smoking

Aside from potentially causing harm to your lungs, smoking affects your blood vessels as well as your heart, and this puts you directly at risk of atherosclerosis.

The sooner you quit, the better your health would be, so it would be best to quit smoking as soon as possible in order to lower the future risks that smoking brings.

This is one of the health tips to prevent atherosclerosis that you really need to follow. Consult your doctor if you need help in quitting smoking.

Drink moderately

Drinking large quantities of alcohol has been proven to increase the risk of atherosclerosis. So it is important to drink responsible, or quit drinking entirely in order to significantly lower the risk of having atherosclerosis. Have no more than 2 drinks a day if you are a man. Have no more than 1 drink a day if you are a woman.

Manage stress levels

Aside from increasing the risk of hypertension, chronic stress also directly contributes to the risk of atherosclerosis.

That is why one of the health tips to prevent atherosclerosis would be to avoid being too stressed out. It is very important to take some time to relax, wind down, and put your mind at ease.

You can try activities such as meditation and mindfulness in order to help you calm down if you are having difficulty in dealing with stress.

How Job Stress Affects Your Heart

Keep your blood pressure under control

Having hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a big risk factor for atherosclerosis. A person is said to have hypertension if their blood pressure is 130/80 or higher.

Additionally, having blood pressure that is above 120/80 but lower than 130/80 is considered pre-hypertensive, which also puts a person at risk of having atherosclerosis.

Be sure to get your blood pressure checked, especially if being hypertensive runs in your family. Be sure to take your medicines your doctor prescribes to treat high blood pressure.

Get your cholesterol levels checked

There is a common misconception that people who are at a healthy weight have low cholesterol levels. However, the reality is that even people who seem healthy might actually have elevated levels of cholesterol in their blood.

Cholesterol is another risk factor for atherosclerosis, so making sure that your cholesterol levels are within the normal range is very important.

A blood chemistry test will tell you if your cholesterol levels are normal. It can also detect potential health problems.

Don’t disregard your other health problems

Being diagnosed with hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and other health problems on top of atherosclerosis can be difficult. And due to the nature of these illnesses, they can accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis.

If you have any of these conditions, be sure to get in touch with your doctor in order to figure out a form of treatment to help you manage your condition.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if you experience any peculiar symptoms

Among the health tips to prevent atherosclerosis, this is one tip that you should always remember.

Since atherosclerosis is a progressive disease, it can develop very slowly, and most people with this disease do not even experience any symptoms until the disease has started to become more severe.

This is why it is important to be mindful of your body, and do not dismiss any strange or peculiar symptoms that you might experience.

What Complications can Atherosclerosis Cause?

Learn more about atherosclerosis, here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources
Atherosclerosis - Diagnosis and Treatment https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arteriosclerosis-atherosclerosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350575 Accessed August 11, 2020 What you can do to prevent Atherosclerosis https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=1583 Accessed August 11, 2020 Avoiding Atherosclerosis https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/avoiding-atherosclerosis-the-killer-you-cant-see Accessed August 11, 2020 Atherosclerosis https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/atherosclerosis Accessed August 11, 2020 Primary Prevention of Atherosclerosis https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.111.085787 Accessed August 11, 2020 Coronary Heart Disease https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/coronary_ad.htm Accessed August 11, 2020 Atherosclerosis https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/atherosclerosis/ Accessed August 11, 2020
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Aug 11, 2020
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.