Plaque build-up in the arteries is one of the leading causes of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues. While there are medications available to help reduce plaque build-up, there are also many lifestyle changes you can make that can help prevent it from forming. Eating healthy is one of the most important things you can do to keep your arteries clear. Let’s take a look at how healthy eating impacts plaque build-up.
The Impact of Fats on Plaque Build-Up
We’ve all heard about “good” and “bad” fats, but what does it mean? Good fats contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). These types of fat can help reduce plaque build-up in your arteries by lowering bad cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol levels. Examples include avocados, nuts, fish, olive oil, and other plant-based oils.
Limiting Saturated Fats
It’s important to limit foods high in saturated fat as they have been linked to an increase in bad cholesterol levels, which can lead to plaque buildup. Foods high in saturated fat include red meats, whole milk dairy products, butter, cream cheese, lard, and processed foods like chips and cookies. It is best to avoid these items or consume them only occasionally.
Fiber for Cardiovascular Health
FIber helps control cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids that our bodies produce from cholesterol. This helps reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed by our bodies, ultimately leading to less plaque build-up in the arteries over time. To get more fiber into your diet, try eating more fruits and vegetables and whole grains such as oatmeal or brown rice instead of white bread or pasta.
Overall, making small changes to your diet by incorporating healthier options can go a long way toward preventing arterial plaque build-up. Eating more foods that contain healthy fats such as PUFA and MUFA will help lower bad cholesterol while also increasing good cholesterol levels; limiting saturated fats and eating more fiber can also aid in this process. If you’re concerned about your risk for arterial plaque build-up, talk with your doctor about making dietary changes today! With a few simple swaps here and there, you’ll be on track for better cardiovascular health for years to come.