You’ve probably heard that what you eat can greatly affect your cardiovascular health. But knowing which foods to choose — and which to skip — to achieve your health goals, can be confusing. Rest assured, heart-healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. Find out how to avoid the foods that can lead to plaque buildup and fill your plate with healthy alternatives instead.
Certain foods can cause the body to make too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol. Cholesterol can combine with fat, calcium, and other substances in the blood to form plaque. Plaque then slowly builds up and hardens in the arteries, causing them to narrow. This buildup of plaque, a condition called atherosclerosis, can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
The good news? When we focus our diets on healthy foods, we can stop and potentially even reverse this narrowing of the arteries. Experts know that food that contributes to high levels of blood cholesterol contains too much saturated fat, trans fat, and dietary cholesterol. The information below can help you identify problem foods and get your arteries into healthier shape.