Health Tip: Help Prevent Atherosclerosis

(HealthDay News) -- Atherosclerosis occurs when blood vessels harden after cholesterol, calcium and fat build up inside them. The condition decreases blood flow and increases the risk of stroke and heart disease.

The University of Virginia Health System says you can take these steps to help lower your risk of atherosclerosis:

  • Eat foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fat. Also eat plenty of whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
  • Get plenty of regular exercise.
  • Lose those extra pounds if you're overweight.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Keep diabetes under control.
  • Take any medication prescribed by your doctor to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Have screening tests for coronary artery disease if you are at risk.

-- Diana Kohnle

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