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Atherosclerosis

Also indexed as:Arterial Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Heart Disease, Hardening of the Arteries, Plaque (Arterial)
Get your blood flowing freely and protect your arteries from hardening with a few healthy habits. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.

The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.

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Choose omega-6-rich foods

Eating omega-6 fatty acids, found in corn, safflower, grapeseed, and sunflower oils, and in foods such as nuts and seeds, appears to protect against atherosclerosis and is associated with reduced heart disease risk.

Eat a high-fiber dietEating foods high in fiber, especially oats, psyllium seeds, fruit, and beans, may lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Eat more complex carbsChoose whole grains whenever possible as a diet high in refined carbs, such as white flour, white rice, and simple sugars, appears to increase the risk of coronary heart disease, especially in overweight women.
Go vegetarianA pure vegetarian diet (no meat, poultry, dairy or eggs), combined with exercise and stress reduction, has been shown to decrease atherosclerosis.
Skip the salt Eating low or moderate amounts of salt may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Try a low-fat dietThe most important dietary changes in protecting arteries from atherosclerosis include choosing alternatives to meat and dairy, and eating foods without trans fats.
Try ALAPeople who eat diets high in alpha-linolenic acid--found in canola oil and flaxseed products--have high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against atherosclerosis.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.