Q:

Can you reduce plaque in your arteries?

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Quick Answer

According to The Dr. Oz Show, a person can reduce artery plaque if he stops consuming the foods that caused the plaque to develop and incorporates an abundance of heart-healthy foods into his diet. Foods high in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol, such as fast foods and processed meats, cause plaque buildup and should be eliminated. A heart-healthy diet is primarily plant based and contains little fat.

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Can you reduce plaque in your arteries?
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Full Answer

According to WebMD, a person who has clogged arteries has a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke. When arteries are almost fully blocked, medical professionals can perform surgeries to clear the arteries in order to prevent further accumulation of plaque. However, if emergency heart surgery, such as an angioplasty, stent placement or bypass, is not required, a person can successfully eliminate plaque buildup by changing his diet.

Sticking to a plant-based diet will slowly clear out arteries over time. According to The Dr. Oz Show, a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains that are natural and unrefined supports heart health. Such a diet should also include the good fats found in olive oil, avocado and nuts. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids also support heart health. These foods include fish, walnuts and flax seeds.

There are three main surgical options to reduce plaque in the arteries, claims WebMD. Stent surgery helps to open the arteries and maintain blood flow. Bypass surgery is another option, in which doctors take arteries from other parts of the body and move them to ensure the flow of blood bypasses the arteries with clogs. Balloon angioplasty is a procedure in which a small balloon is placed in a clogged artery to open it.

Medications also can help to reduce plaque in the arteries, states WebMD. Some of the medications that work well include cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood-thinning drugs and drugs that lower blood pressure.

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