Plaque that builds up in arteries reduces blood flow and makes arteries more rigid — a condition known as atherosclerosis.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute suggests these preventive tips:
- Adopt a heart-healthy diet that’s rich in fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean proteins. Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and salt.
- Get plenty of regular exercise.
- Don’t smoke.
- If you have excess weight, find a program that’s healthy and works for you to help you shed pounds.
- Find out your family medical history, and tell your doctor if you have relatives with atherosclerosis.