10 Ways To Reduce Fat In Arteries
Reducing the fat in your arteries naturally begins by reducing the fat in your body, and this means convincing your body to release the fat instead of storing it.
There are several factors to consider. If you have a low body mass index (BMI) and are very active, fat is most likely used immediately and is not stored to a great extent. But if you are not active, the fat not used is stored. This is a simple concept, and most people understand it well. The trouble is that they think that by limiting their calories enough, that there will be no unused fat, and thus none stored, and they don’t understand why.
To understand why, you must take a long view of human development. While science isn’t really sure how long humans have been under development, we can be sure that it’s been long enough that abundant food is available in many cultures without the physical exertion it historically took to feed ourselves. We no longer have to spend long hours every day hunting – or gathering – food. Even when we began to grow food, it was still a physically grueling process, and there were always lean times, particularly in the winter months. It’s only been the last hundred years ago that technology and transportation virtually eliminated seasonal food shortages. So, in the big picture, humans have spent a very short amount of time being well-fed, and our bodies still react in a life-protecting mode, holding on to fat longer than actually needed. The big clue to release fat stores was not the lack of food, or even physical exertion. It was the amount of sleep and quality of rest that cued it to relax and let go of the fat circulating in your bloodstream.
So, besides lots of sleep and relaxation, what can you do to reduce fat in your arteries? Let’s look at the list:
Ten Ways to Reduce Fat in Arteries
- Sleep – we just discussed how important sleep is in reducing fat from your body. Relaxation may be difficult for you to get used to, but there are a myriad ways to calm your mind and invite sleep. Meditation is a good start.
- Eat the right fats – Fats are not all equal. Saturated and hydrogenated fats are the most harmful in your bloodstream, raising your bad (LDL) cholesterol while lowering you good (HDL) cholesterol counts. They also increase lipoprotein A – which directly contributes to plaque build-up in your arteries. Animal fats are saturated, many vegetable oils are hydrogenated and added as extra ingredients to many processed foods.
Read the labels and know what you’re eating.
Polyunsaturated fats can inhibit the production of good cholesterol (HDL), but Monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, canola oil, and nut oils don’t. Omega 3 fatty acids found in coldwater fish like seabass, salmon and albacore tuna, help lower blood fat levels and reduce the risk of blood clots, which can clog arteries and cause strokes and heart attacks. Replacing saturated fats in your diet with unsaturated fats such as vegetable fish oils can reduce blood LDL levels.
- Avoid eating cholesterol – Animal products contain cholesterol, but plant products do not. Therefore, eat less animal foods and more plant foods to lower your blood cholesterol. While choosing lean beef over moist and removing the skin from chicken reduces their cholesterol, it doesn’t eliminate it all. Keepin mind that lean cuts of beef, lamb, and chicken all contain about the same amount of cholesterol, while egg yolks, milk fat, and shellfish (shrimp and lobster) are high in cholesterol. White-fleshed fish tends to be the lowest in saturated fat.
- Choose cholesterol-fighting foods – Know which foods actually reduce the amount of fat in your arteries. Plants have their own equivalent of cholesterol, called sterol, which actually inhibits the absorbtion of cholesterol in our bodies. Cholesterol-fighting foods include:
Soy protein – Even when you eat the same of fat, you can lower cholesterol levels just by replacing animal protein with soy protein.
Fiber – Soluble fiber – such as in beans, cruciferous vegetables, and prunes, slows the absorption of cholesterol from animal foods and acts as an intestinal broom to sweep the cholesterol out.
- Eat anti-oxidant foods – Kiwi and cantaloupe are both high in cholesterol-fighting anti-oxidants.
- Drink Tea – A cup of tea has as many anti-oxidants as a full serving of vegetables.
- Drink red wine – High-fiber red grapes, may actually have a significant effect on cholesterol levels.
- Add nuts to your diet – A moderate-fat diet rich in the healthy monounsaturated fats of nuts may be as much as twice as good for your heart as a low-fat diet. Keep a jar of chopped nuts in the fridge to sprinkle on cereal, veggies, yogurts, in stir-fry, and in pilafs.
- Exercise – Exercise stimulates the body to manufacture more HDL (the good cholesterol).
- Relax – Stress releases hormones that elevate blood cholesterol levels.