What food is good for ATHEROSCLEROSIS




Processed foods that contain trans fats


  • Olive oil
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Oats
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Citrus Fruit


  • Red meat, butter, and other foods with saturated fats
  • High-cholesterol foods, such as eggs, shrimp, and organ meats


  • Most European and North American men in their late forties
  • Post-menopausal women
  • Those who smoke
  • People who have high cholesterol
  • People with hypertension As we become older, our arteries lose some of their elasticity and stiffen
    This can lead to a progressive condition referred to as arteriosclerosis, or hardening (sclerosis) of the arteries
    Atherosclerosis is the most common type of arteriosclerosis, and is caused by a build up of fatty plaque in the arteries
    Blood clots tend to form at the site of atherosclerosis fatty deposits, leading to a high risk for heart attack or stroke
    Cholesterol is the major component of atherosclerotic plaque, and numerous studies correlate high levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides with atherosclerosis
    By the time European and North American men have reached their late forties, most have some degree of atherosclerosis
    In women the process is delayed, presumably due to the protective effects of estrogen during the reproductive years
    After menopause, women are just as likely as men to develop severely clogged arteries
    Precisely what causes atherosclerosis is unknown
    However, most experts agree that a genetic susceptibility and a combination of lifestyle factors accelerate the process; these include a diet high in fats and cholesterol, cigarette use, excessive stress, and lack of exercise
    Poorly controlled diabetes and high blood pressure can also contribute

    Nutrition Connection

    Researchers agree that diet plays a critical role in both the development and treatment of atherosclerosis
    Here are the recommendations to delay or prevent the condition: Limit fat intake
    Total fat intake should be no more than 20 to 35% of calories, with saturated fats (found mostly in animal products) comprising no more than 10% of calories
    Some strategies include downsizing meat portions; substituting olive oil for butter or margarine; eating low-fat dairy products; and increasing the amount of vegetables
    In addition, experts suggest reducing intake of trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated fats
    These trans fats are the result of hydrogenation and are known to raise your LDL cholesterol
    Trans fats come in packaged foods, such as cookies and crackers, and snack foods, such as chips
    Be careful with cholesterol
    Although consumption of high-cholesterol foods is not thought to be as detrimental as a high-fat diet, a high intake of dietary cholesterol can raise the levels of blood lipids in some people
    Experts recommend limiting dietary cholesterol to 200 to 300 mg a day— about the amount in 1½ egg yolks
    Choose heart-healthy fats
    The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon, sardines, and other cold-water fish lower blood levels of triglycerides; they also reduce the tendency to form blood clots
    Monosaturated fats in olive oil, almonds, and avocados can help lower LDL cholesterol when they replace saturated fats
    Eat fiber
    Oat bran, oatmeal, lentils and other legumes, barley, guar gum, psyllium, and pectin- containing fruits such as pears, apples, and citrus fruits all contain soluble fiber that lowers blood cholesterol, probably by interfering with the intestinal absorption of bile acids, which forces the liver to use circulating cholesterol to make more bile
    Incorporate as many antioxidant-rich foods as possible
    Colorful fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, which studies indicate prevent LDL cholesterol from collecting in atherosclerotic plaque
    Soy protein also helps raise HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels and provide antioxidant protection


    Eat more soy Soy is a powerhouse of health
    Just 25 g of soy protein—about 1½ cup of edamame—per day has been shown to help lower LDL levels by up to 15% in people with elevated levels

    Beyond the Diet

    Medications including nitrates, beta-blockers, statins, calcium-channel blockers, are often prescribed
    In addition, lifestyle changes can even help reverse the condition
    Here are some suggestions: Exercise
    Studies have shown that mild to moderate exercise may protect against the development of atherosclerosis
    Quit smoking
    In addition to causing a host of other ailments, smoking damages the structure and function of your blood vessels
    Learn healthy ways to cope with stress
    Stress leads to higher blood pressure, which combined with atherosclerosis can increase risk of heart disease
    Taking a walk or learning relaxation exercises are much better than smoking, drinking, or eating
    Get regular checkups
    A doctor can help monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar levels