Atherosclerosis, a chronic disease of the arteries that is accompanied by cholesterol deposition, is the gray cardinal of death, a silent killer that people, alas, underestimate. At the age of 30, 40% of Russians already have atherosclerotic lesions. At the age of 40, 50% already have pronounced atherosclerotic lesions. In 60 years, 70% of people have pronounced manifestations of atherosclerosis.
But in most cases, the course of atherosclerosis is asymptomatic. As long as the 70% plaque does not overlap the vessel, there will be no complaints. This is the case when “suddenly”, against the background of complete health, a person enters the hospital with an infocalct or stroke. But this is not “all of a sudden”, but because all people’s reserve capacities are very large and the vessels can carry the load for a long time.
“The main thing is the state of the vascular wall,” explains Alexey Chudinov. – From the outside, the vessel is smooth, like plastic. And if pure cholesterol is passed through this vessel, then cholesterol is not deposited there. Therefore, the discovery made was so important: even if the cholesterol is high, but the vascular wall is in a normal state – cholesterol plaques will not form there. But if microdamages appear on the vascular wall, then vascular plaques begin to form on these microcracks even with normal cholesterol.
What damages the vessels
The main aggravating factors that cause vascular damage are hypertension, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and taking various medications, often uncontrolled.
“Also, microdefects of blood vessels cause free radicals, saturated fatty acids, aggressive environmental factors, various additives and toxic components that are found in our food today,” Alexey Chudinov continues. – For example, in meat – in fat beef and pork – there are two main unhealthy fats – cholesterol and saturated fatty acids. When saturated fatty acids are subjected to heat treatment, they turn into aggressive factors that cause damage to the endothelium of the vessel. Not immediately, but the more meat there is, the higher the risk of damage to the blood vessels. With age, the vessel becomes rough and atherosclerotic plaques begin to deposit on it.
Headache – a sign of atherosclerosis?
“Atherosclerosis has been modified,” says Alexei Chudinov. – Even 25-30 years ago, we found plaques in large vessels – in the carotid artery, in the aorta, and so on. But now plaques affect even small capillaries, including the brain. Those people who suffer from headaches, dizziness, memory loss, should know that this is primarily a sign that the small vessels are no longer working, that is, they are amazed. After all, intracerebral vessels have a thinner endothelium.
All our organs and tissues, primarily the heart, liver, brain – have a phospholipid membrane, a membrane that protects our cells from damage. When a person constantly uses saturated fatty acids, this saturated fat has the same ability as a dishwashing detergent that destroys fat on a plate. It destroys the phospholipid membrane of brain cells, cardiac cells, liver cells. Two clinical studies of the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences proved that excluding saturated fatty acids from food reduces the risk of death by 22%, and the incidence of heart attacks and strokes by 18%. The same studies proved that if a person had a heart attack or stroke, then most likely this condition will recur within 5 years. But if a person switches to a healthy lifestyle, the risk of their recurrence is reduced by 80%.
5 principles of a healthy lifestyle (according to the latest scientific data)
1. Proper nutrition – the elimination of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids.
That is, try to eat less or completely abandon the fried meat, especially red and fatty – lamb, marbled beef. Less baking with margarine. Do not fry anything in butter. Try to switch to lighter dairy products (for example, reject cream, hard varieties of cheese).
Try to prepare food in a good mood, do not sort things out in the kitchen, otherwise the kitchen will automatically be perceived as an unpleasant place, and the absorption of food will be worse.
2. Active lifestyle, which raises good cholesterol.
Good cholesterol rises only in one case – if the person is actively moving. Nothing else raises good cholesterol – neither drugs, nor food. After all, the body, in addition to external influence, synthesizes its own cholesterol.
Therefore, vegetarians are not always the right level of cholesterol in the blood. For example, in India, people practically do not eat meat, but still suffer from cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis. Our body produces its own endogenous cholesterol, and we have the so-called cholesterol metabolism receptors. As soon as cholesterol levels fall below normal, endogenous cholesterol synthesis increasya And even without eating meat, vegetarians can have quite high cholesterol due to endogenous internal cholesterol.
In order to compensate for this, there is one single way – an active lifestyle, that is, at least a person must move and walk a lot. But not to do grueling physical exertion – they also lead to an increase in cholesterol levels.
3. Freedom from stress and tension.
In addition to food containing saturated fatty acids, damage to the vascular endothelium causes stress. Stress is not what happens to us, but our reaction to situations. Only by remaining calm can we solve problems and difficulties. And only in this case our vessels will remain undamaged by stress.
4. Full sleep.
During a long (at least 8 hours) sleep, cholesterol levels are reduced. Vascular endothelium is restored. Alas, 45% of people today have trouble sleeping. The reason follows from the previous one – anxiety during the day.
5. Acceptance of omega-3 fatty acids.
These substances help the cells of the blood vessels to recover, stay elastic longer. They are contained in nuts, unrefined vegetable oils, wheat sprouts, oily fish.