Aetherosclerosis is caused when plaque builds up inside your arteries, causing them to harden. Plaque is made up in part by cholesterol. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL, or bad cholestoral, and HDL, good cholesterol. It is believed that good cholesterol actually helps remove plaque from arteries. Eating foods high in good cholesterol and avoiding foods with bad cholesterol can help remove plaque from arteries, thereby reducing your risk of heart attack.
Eating fish rich in Omega-3's may help reduce the plaque in your arteries. Salmon, trout, and herring are all good choices. Avoid frying fish or using butter in your coking preparation, as this adds bad cholesterol. Instead, try lemon juice and fresh herbs. Aim to eat fish two to three times a week to raise your good cholesterol levels.
Nuts are a healthy source of good cholesterol. Like fish, nuts also provide your body with Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin E, which is also beneficial for lowering cholesterol. Eat nuts in moderation; about a handful a day is a good serving. Though nuts provide your body with healthy fats, eating them in excess can contribute to weight gain. Enjoy almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, but stay away from nuts covered in chocolate or other sugary toppings.
Monounsaturated oils can help lower cholesterol. Olive and peanut oils are good choices. Use these oils for cooking, or enjoy them in a salad dressing or vinaigrette.
Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides dietary fiber, which helps reduce plaque in arteries. Apples, bananas and pears are especially good choices. Avocados, which are rich in monounsaturated fats, are another excellent choice. Eating more fruits and vegetables also helps you maintain a healthy weight, and therefore, a healthy heart.
Dietary fiber can also be found in whole grains, oats, and barley. Choose whole grain bread and unflavored, natural oatmeal to help lower your bad cholesterol. Whole wheat pasta and brown rice are also good choices.