Diet and Atherosclerosis

Adjustments in diet can help to prevent the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease. In general, aim to:

  • Eat carbohydrate foods such as wholegrain bread and cereals and pulses.
  • Include large quantities of fruit and vegetable – particularly garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes and aubergines – in your diet. Aim to eat five portions per day.
  • Choose healthy, low-fat protein foods such as poultry, game and oily fish.
  • Use monounsaturated fats instead of saturated animal fats. Olive, almond, hazelnut and avocado oils are good sources of monounsaturated fats, as are avocados, almonds and sardines.
  • Minimize consumption of hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats) and products that contain them, such as biscuits and margarines.
  • Use olive oil for cooking, as a salad dressing, and as an alternative to butter.
  • Use fresh herbs and garlic to flavour cooked dishes and salads.
  • Red wine, drunk in moderation, may raise levels of the protective HDL cholesterol in the blood and help reduce blood clotting.
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