Lifestyle Changes To Improve Artery Health

If you’ve been diagnosed with Atherosclerosis or Heart Disease, you’re probably looking for practical ways to improve your heart and artery health. While many cardiovascular diseases may not necessarily be fully reversed, damage and symptoms can be reduced. If you are looking to prevent developing an artery, plaque build up, or heart issues, these tips may also help you improve your lifestyle. While it’s not easy to make a change, there are some simple things that can make a big difference in artery health.

What Cholesterol Does To Your Artery Health

Plaque builds up in your arteries due to cholesterol is often a silent killer. This is why it’s important to get routine blood tests to check your heart health. Cholesterol plaques begin on your artery walls and slowly fill until they block blood flow. Plaque can rupture resulting in a heart attack or stroke causing a blood clot. This is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Lifestyle Changes And Goals For Artery Health

Walking For 30 Minutes 6 Times A Week

If you live a relatively sedentary lifestyle, like a desk job, you are wreaking havoc on your cardiovascular and artery health. Moving around more frequently gets your blood pumping, your heart working, and even helps improve your mood. If 30 minutes a day is too much to do all at once, try breaking into 3 sessions. Walk for 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 in the evening. Walking is as effective as running as long as you aim for a moderate intensity walk. If you miss a day, make it up the next day. Your goal should be about 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

Change The Kind Of Fat You Consume

Artery damaging lipoproteins like LDL are the results of age, family history, and diet. Even though you can’t control all those factors, you can make small dietary changes on a daily basis. Fats that can clog arteries in excess include the following:

  • Saturated Fat- Butter, meat fat, cheese, and palm oil.
  • Trans Fat- Margarine, shortening, and partially hudrogenated oils
  • Dietary Cholesterol- Animal products

Try to keep high fats to a minimum. While you can’t avoid all fats, you can opt for better options like olive oil, peanut oil, and plant fats. Just be sure to use accurate measurements and consume in moderation. If sacrificing fried foods or fats seems impossible, try to cut back to 25% of your current consumption to promote artery health.

Break Up With Refined Sugar

Refined sugar and carbohydrates are categorized as “food like products” by most cardiologists because they carry absolutely no nutritional health and are slightly addictive. High fructose products causes an elevation of  apoB-containing atherogenic lipoprotein that clogs arteries. This includes many fast foods, sodas, freezer meals, and baked goods. Your best artery health option is to opt for unsweetened teas, club soda with small amounts of fruit juice, and water.

Quit Smoking Permanently

Did you know that according to the last national poll,  21.2% of Georgia residents smoke? We rank 26th in the US for smokers. Tabacco is responsible for over 12,000 preventable deaths a year in the state of Georgia. If you smoke, you’ve likely been told to stop by your cardiologist, primary care physician, dentist, eye doctor, the list goes on. There is not a single part of your body that is not affected by smoking in some way. Tobacco causes damage to your arteries and makes it easier for plaque to build up on the walls. E-cigarettes, vapes, or smokeless tabacco are no better for your health and even cause their own different types of complications. Visit the CDC website for details on how to best quit smoking for your artery health.

Picture of Central Georgia Heart Center

Central Georgia Heart Center

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