What affects heart health?

High cholesterol - raised blood cholesterol affects nearly four in ten adults globally. Lowering your cholesterol levels is one of the most significant ways to improve heart health - and one of the simplest too.

Body weight - being overweight puts stress on the heart and circulation, especially when the extra weight is around the waist. Keeping your weight within healthy limits is important.

Physical inactivity - inactive lifestyles increase heart disease risk. The World Health Organization recommends that adults are physically active for at least 30 minutes per day. For weight management, the recommendation is 60 minutes per day.

Unhealthy diets - diets high in saturated fat and salt, and low in fruits, vegetables, oily fish and wholegrains, are linked with an increased risk of heart disease. An easy first step, like eating Benecol® products, can set you on your way to a healthier diet.

High blood pressure - globally, around 40% of adults aged 25 and over have raised blood pressure, putting them at risk of heart disease. Smoking, stress, obesity, lack of physical exercise and salty foods can all increase blood pressure.

Alcohol use - excess alcohol is bad for the heart but you can still enjoy a glass of wine or beer by sticking to a limit of 1 unit per day.

Stress - this can boost blood pressure, making your heart and blood vessels work harder. Identifying what stresses you is the first step to staying calm.

Smoking - all smoking increases heart disease risk. While it is best to avoid smoking altogether, even a reduction in tobacco use can benefit health.