(HealthDay News) -- Atherosclerosis occurs when plaque -- a combination of fat, cholesterol and calcium deposits -- builds up inside arteries.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute suggests these lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis:
- Stick to a heart-healthy diet that is rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
- Limit salt, saturated fats, sugar and cholesterol.
- If you're overweight, devise a plan to lose weight.
- Get plenty of exercise each day.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Tell your doctor about any family history of atherosclerosis.