A Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet can reduce your chances of developing vascular disease. A good balanced diet can not only keep your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure under control but it can also prevent against fatty deposits building up in your arteries. It can also reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

Make sure you include plenty of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods, like wholegrain bread, pasta and rice, and reduce the amount of saturated fat, salt and sugar you include in your diet.

Fruit and vegFruits and vegetables
There is good evidence that eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day can lower the risk of vascular disease.

We all need some fat in our diet; it is a good source of energy and provides essential fatty acids which our bodies cannot make themselves. However, eating too much fat, especially saturated fat, can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood and increase your risk of vascular disease. Try cutting back on the total amount of fat you eat and replace saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. By reducing the amount of salt you consume you can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of vascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

For more information on a healthy diet, visit the NHS Choices website, which has some great online tools to help you:

  • check your BMI
  • find out how healthy your current diet is
  • plan healthier meals
  • make your weekly shopping healthier

Exercise is vital to vascular health too. See our tips for an active, healthy lifestyle and to read more about other risk factors and how to minimise them, please go to the vascular health information page.