Atherosclerosis is a specific type of this pathology that occurs due to the accumulation of fats and cholesterol in and on the walls of the arteries. This accumulation promotes the formation of lipid plaques that lead to the thickening and hardening of these blood vessels. Consequently, the flow of blood that carries oxygen and nutrients to all the organs and tissues of the body is impaired. Today, some key aspects of arteriosclerosis prevention are recognized, which we will discuss in more detail below. Keep reading!
The keys to preventing arteriosclerosis
Changing habits are undoubtedly the great “secret” to preventing arteriosclerosis and a wide range of diseases. Although the natural aging process supposes the loss of elasticity in the arteries, the diet and lifestyle we choose make a big difference.
To give you an idea, the main factors that promote hardening of the arteries They are:
- Arterial hypertension.
- Unhealthy levels of cholesterol in the blood (mainly high LDL and low HDL).
- High insulin resistance: occurs when liver, muscle and fat cells do not respond well to the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. This impairs the absorption capacity of glucose in the blood and can lead to diabetes.
- Smoking (and other tobacco use).
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Family history of early heart disease.
How to prevent risk factors for arteriosclerosis?
It is clear, then, that a large part of the risk factors for arteriosclerosis can be controlled if we make more conscious decisions in our daily lives. Logically, we cannot stop the passing of the years or change our genetic heritage. But, yes we can Take these three essential steps to prevent arteriosclerosis:
Maintain a complete and balanced nutrition
Food is a pillar for the sustenance of life. We could never have survived and evolved as a species without adequate nutrition. But, unfortunately, in recent decades, the quality of human nutrition has been declining markedly.
Excessive consumption of ultra-processed products and foods rich in sodium, sugars, saturated fats and trans fats, favor an increase in LDL cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure. In addition to being able to lead us to overweight.
Likewise, it is a mistake to believe that fats must be eliminated from the diet to prevent arteriosclerosis. Fats are one of the essential macronutrients for the proper functioning of our entire body.
The key is is know how to choose the sources of this nutrient and always give priority to natural foods. Meats, fish, seeds such as chia and flax, nuts, olive oil, coconut, and avocado are some examples of healthy fat sources.
Get regular physical activity
The physical activities, when practiced regularly, reduce the risk of many non-communicable diseases. Among them are arteriosclerosis, hypertension, obesity, cerebrovascular accidents, diabetes and some types of cancer (mainly breast and colon).
For adults, the practice of at least 150 minutes per week moderate intensity physical activities a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. For children ages 5 to 17, the global recommendation is a minimum of 60 minutes a day in moderate to intense physical activity.
Stop smoking or using tobacco
There is ample evidence that smoking can lead to injury and narrowing of the arteries. In addition to increasing blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, smoking also impairs cardiopulmonary capacity, impairing blood flow and oxygenation of organs and tissues.
On the other hand, it fits remember that tobacco in all its forms or derivatives is equally harmful. By-products such as hookah, cigarillos, snuff, smokeless tobacco products, and even chewing gum are extremely addictive and contain carcinogenic toxins.