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What can I do About Clogged Arteries?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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If you find that you have clogged arteries, you may feel as if the situation is hopeless. However, there are things you can do to help yourself and prevent further damage. A healthy diet and exercise can go a long way toward fighting and preventing this condition.

Start by lowering your fat intake. To prevent clogged arteries, less than ten percent of your calories should come from saturated fat, and your diet should consist of less than 35 percent fat overall, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Others contend your overall fat intake should be less than 30 or 25 percent or more. If your arteries are already clogged, no more than seven percent of your calories should come from saturated fat. The body uses saturated fat to make cholesterol, another substance you’d do well to reduce.

Another important step in dealing with this condition is cutting cholesterol. You should ingest less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol each day. Keep in mind that one egg can provide as much as 250 milligrams of cholesterol. Start checking the labels on the foods you consume for cholesterol and fat content. You can also find helpful fat and cholesterol counts on the Internet.

Quit smoking. This is one of the most important things you can do to fight build up in your arteries. Do it right away. Delaying could take years off your life. There are medications, support groups, and numerous techniques for kicking the habit. Ask your doctor for help if you need it.

Activity is an important weapon against clogged arteries. Start exercising, with your doctor’s approval, at least 30 minutes to one hour three to four times per week. This amount of exercise is recommended by the American Heart Association. Such physical activity serves to improve cholesterol levels, make the heart stronger, and reduce blood pressure. As a side benefit, you may even shed some extra weight.

Discuss the impact and prevention of arterial clogs with your doctor. Steps taken to lower cholesterol and control high blood pressure can really help your cause. Also, controlling diabetes can help to lower your risk of developing plaque in your arteries and protect your health if you are already dealing with them. Depending on your particular case, prescription medications may be helpful.

There are some studies that suggest that certain foods may help in fighting clogged arteries. One such study suggests that pomegranate juice may prevent and slow the clogging of arteries. Keep in mind, however, that this study and many like it have not been proven yet. Still, such foods may contribute to your health in other ways and, therefore, may be worth a try.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
Discussion Comments
By anon356772 — On Nov 28, 2013

@anon 67429: To reduce clogged carotid arteries, drink pomegranate juice (low sugar) along with the capsules every day. After three months, the plaque in your arteries will start to reduce. Remember, saturated fat is bad. but sugar is worse!

By anon351162 — On Oct 11, 2013

I have been taking Niacin at 3 grams per day. My PCP recommended that I have a cholesterol check and liver enzyme test as my results had come back with high AST and ALT levels. My cardiologist asked me to cut the Niacin to 1 gram per day and wait a month before getting the tests done.

I have read many articles suggesting that red wine is good for the heart but nothing saying how much is enough or to much. Most suggest one or two drinks per day. My PCP said not to drink at all as does my cardiologist. For a month, I waited with my reduced Niacin intake. I consumed an average of 40 oz of red wine per day. This is consumed over the course of a 16 hour waking day, not all at once.

Prior to this test my best test results were:

TC 138 HDL 49 LDL 59 VLDL 30 GLU 99 AST 24 ALT 16 Triglycerides 151.

The test results with the reduced Niacin intake and the consumption of 40 oz of red wine per day were as Follows:

TC 169 HDL 73 LDL 74 VLDL 22 GLU 94 AST 27 ALT 19 Triglycerides 109.

I have been on a diet and have lost 43 pounds from 207 to 164 in a year. The trick is reducing fat and cholesterol and increasing physical activity. I'm just walking a few blocks a day.

For the record, 40 oz per day, over time, is not too much. My doctors want me to maintain my present course as these are my best ever results. They do not know about the secret ingredient.

By anon344689 — On Aug 11, 2013

If you want the complete and truthful answer, come back in about two hundred years and perhaps doctors will know for sure what clogs arteries by that time, because there is not enough money in basic whole foods at the present time to pay for the research.

You can look at many conflicting research projects and like a particular one but really right now, the cause of heart disease is not really understood.

By anon277145 — On Jun 28, 2012

I agree with Anon65653 -- cayenne pepper definitely helps. Best way to take it is through a tea: mix about a teaspoon of it into a cup of mildly hot water and drink it.

It's recommended to take 3 cups of this a day. You can also mix lemon and sugar/honey for flavor, or, if there's a certain tea you already drink, you can add the powder to whatever tea you drink.

Make sure you use organic cayenne, preferably one with at least 90,000 HU (heat units).

By anon242487 — On Jan 23, 2012

Be careful when juicing. I suffered a stroke within two months of juicing beets, carrots, celery and apple -- about two cups daily. My blood pressure, heart and cholesterol levels were all normal, but I had a small plaque blockage in my right carotid artery which became unstable and a piece broke off and cause a blockage. When health gurus advise you on ways to dissolve plaque in your arteries, consider where that broken up plaque will travel to.

By anon119435 — On Oct 18, 2010

My doctor usually suggests something natural before giving pills. To keep arteries clear and flexible, in addition to eating healthy foods, he suggests that after every meal take three teaspoons of pure lemon juice and three teaspoons of non-sugar honey sprinkled with ground cinnamon. Do not drink or eat anything else for an hour.

If you cannot take this combination after lunch because of work or school, then the next best thing is to take the pure lemon juice and non-sugar honey sprinkled with ground cinnamon combination after breakfast and after dinner. This combination has other health benefits too.

By anon109897 — On Sep 09, 2010

@anon82888: You may have asthma or some kind of respiratory issue going on, or it could be come kind of clogged arteries. Talk to your doctor soon! good luck!

By anon82888 — On May 07, 2010

I have a lot of chest pains and i often feel weak, short of breath and weak. I'm not sure what this is. i think i might have clogged arteries. i have not visited a doctor yet but i am starting to get scared.

i am only 20 years old and i am an athlete. i don't know why i would have this problem. It could be that i never eat healthy but i always thought the exercising would help it. I need help! what can this be. I have discomforts all over my body and i have fainted a couple times. Just a few days ago i felt i passed out on the floor and my girlfriend said i was having a seizure on the floor. what can this be?

By anon76237 — On Apr 09, 2010

Check out two time Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling's studies on reversing heart disease with the "Pauling Therapy" The AMA and "Big Pharma" have conveniently swept his findings under the rug!

By karen38 — On Mar 20, 2010

is it normal for you're carotid artery, or arteries to be 10 - 20 percent clogged??

By anon67793 — On Feb 26, 2010

Dr. Dean Ornish has info re different treatments and solutions for problems re heart health. He also has programs in certain areas where you can have specialized treatment. It doesn't hurt to research and get answers to many different questions.

Good luck and don't give up hope.

By anon67429 — On Feb 24, 2010

I received a scan on my neck and it came back 50 percent blocked on the right and left side. my cholesterol is perfect, I don't smoke, I watch what I eat and I work out. I am 58 years old. my mother died from a stroke. what can I do? The doctors said they will not operate until it reaches over 70 percent blocked.

By trela — On Feb 22, 2010

Can clogged arteries be reduced??

By anon65653 — On Feb 15, 2010

Cayenne pepper has worked for me.

By anon43715 — On Sep 01, 2009

How much help we can get with cardiovascular exercise of 40 mins a day in gettting rid of clogging of arteries?

By Danu — On Apr 07, 2009

Along with your physician's advice, get the book by

Dick Quinn, "Left For Dead". May help you-it has helped me.

Good luck.

By jabuka — On Oct 21, 2008

Thor, I do not think that there is one great, all encompassing test that will give you a complete and clear picture of your arteries, but there are several test, some better than others that will give a reasonably good picture.

Something as simple as blood pressure test can point to clogged arteries, MRI, EKG, stress test, angiogram, these are all tests that show different levels of clogged arteries.

By Thor — On Oct 21, 2008

I already know about the following--Posted by: anon19724

high glycemic foods increase LDL triglycerides

high blood sugar increase LDL triglycerides

That was not the question. In court the judge would order such a reply as "Non Responsive".

No problem if an answer isn't known. Re-read the message, a reply to eating garlic and if anybody knows of a test or scan please post it. Thanks, Thor

By Thor — On Oct 20, 2008

Considering that I can barely stand onions much less garlic (no vampires around here), I would still like to know if there is some type of scan or test to make it all worth while?

By anon19724 — On Oct 18, 2008

high glycemic foods increase LDL triglycerides

high blood sugar increase LDL triglycerides

By anon19718 — On Oct 18, 2008

Eat raw garlic! Lots of it - at least one pound a week. It's best if you try to find some farmer growing garlic without using pesticides or "chemical dung", since those substances get into your bloodstream and damage your liver and your kidneys, if taken in over a long time. The varieties having red skin are usually richer in active substances than the ones having a white skin. For all varieties the outer skin is white, I'm talking about the inner skin, the one close to the cloves.

Garlic may not smell pleasantly, but it is the best un-clogger for your blood vessels. Red whine, cranberry juice and so on may help prevent deposition of fat in your arteries and veins, but garlic actively cleans existing deposits. Besides cleaning up arteries, it dissolves cholesterol as you eat it, preventing it from staying in your system, and also strengthens your immune system. Another added benefit: it keeps vampires away :D

By Thor — On Oct 06, 2008

Is there a scan or test to determine whether or not your arteries are clogged and to what degree. Imagine some of the TV ads currently playing that show an artery and blood components flowing through it--then building up on one side. Too cartoonish or can a scan reveal the extent? Once you know you have clogged arteries is there something like Draino to unclog them? I'm not suggesting Draino but something that scours things out. Thor

By jabuka — On Aug 10, 2008

As it has been been widely reported, red wine helps keep arteries clear, but so does cranberry juice and tea. Tomato juice, orange juice, fruits and vegetables all contain flavonoids that help the heart and arteries.

By anon2420 — On Jul 10, 2007

My husband has type 2 diabetes and is on medicines to treat this. Also clogged arteries run in his family. His father, who is now deceased, had them and his brother & sister had check ups and were clear. Are there any systems that can lead up to clogged arteries?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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