Becel offers free cholesterol tests to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke, the leading cause of death for women in Canada
TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Lowering your risk for heart disease and stroke
can start with knowing your cholesterol number. Yet a recent survey conducted on behalf of Becel found that almost 70
per cent of Canadians - about 20 million people - don't know theirs.
"More Canadian women die of heart disease and stroke than cancer," said
Dr. Richard Tytus, a family physician. "A simple blood test to
determine cholesterol levels can be an important first step to monitor
heart health, as high blood cholesterol is a modifiable risk factor for
heart disease and stroke."
Eighty four per cent of Canadian women say it's important that their
loved ones have their cholesterol tested, yet one in three say they
have not been tested themselves. This suggests that women, as
caregivers, place more emphasis on the health of their loved ones than
themselves, and may not be considering their own risk factors - or how
much their health matters to the ones they love.
That's why during heart health month this February, Becel - founding
sponsor of The Heart and Stroke Foundation's The Heart Truth campaign - is offering free cholesterol tests administered by
registered nurses at malls across the country to help make sure
Canadians know their cholesterol number, so they can start to
understand their risk of heart disease and stroke. Visit www.loveyourheart.ca to find a test location near you or speak with your doctor about
getting your cholesterol tested.
Know Your Number, Know Your Risk
It's estimated that 41 per cent of Canadian adults have a total
cholesterol level higher than the generally recommended target for
total cholesterol of less than 5.2 mmol/L.i
"Reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke can start with knowing
your cholesterol number, then taking other proactive steps to manage
heart health," said Dr. Tytus. "In fact, it's possible to reduce your
risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 80 per cent by making
healthy diet and lifestyle changes."
Elevated LDL Cholesterol: A Modifiable Risk Factor
Cholesterol is a substance that occurs naturally in the blood (blood
cholesterol) and in food (dietary cholesterol). High density
lipoprotein, or HDL cholesterol, is the "good" blood cholesterol that
takes excess cholesterol back to the liver to be removed by the body.
Low density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol is the "bad" blood
cholesterol - it leaves plaque deposits in the artery walls, and excess
levels can increase the risk of heart disease.
Take Small Steps to Love Your Heart Everyday
Make heart-healthy living a goal for 2011! Once you know your
cholesterol number, follow these three tips daily to help improve
Include plant sterols in your diet - Plant sterols help to remove LDL cholesterol from the body by
partially blocking its absorption into the bloodstream. In addition to
eating fruits and vegetables, look for plant sterol-fortified foods and
eat 2 - 3 servings of them every day. Two teaspoons (10 g) of Becel
pro.activ provide 40 per cent of the daily amount of plant sterols
shown to help lower cholesterol in adults.
Focus on healthier fats - To maintain healthy cholesterol levels, replace saturated and trans
fats in your diet with healthier polyunsaturated fat. Use vegetable
oils such as safflower, canola and corn oil and products made from
these oils, such as soft, non-hydrogenated margarine like Becel, which
is low in saturated and trans fats.
Keep moving - Being physically active on most days of the week can help you reduce
your risk of heart disease. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate physical
activity per week - even adding a brisk walk each day will help
increase your physical activity.
A total of 1,521 Canadians over the age of 18 answered an online survey
between December 6th and December 9th, 2010. The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing.
About The Heart Truth™ campaign
The Heart and Stroke Foundation's The Heart Truth campaign is raising awareness of women's risk for heart disease and
stroke and spreading a lifesaving message to empower Canadian women to
protect their heart health. Heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death for women in
Canada- but most don't know it. Most women believe heart disease is a 'man's disease' but in fact,
women are more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke. The Heart
Truth is one in three women die of heart disease or stroke. But the
good news is women can reduce their risk by as much as 80 per cent by
making lifestyle changes. The Red Dress is the official symbol of The
Heart Truth campaign and represents women's courage, passion and their
power for change as they share the truth with others and raise
awareness of the importance of heart health. To find out more, visit TheHeartTruth.ca
Becel margarine was created in the 1960s as a response to the call from
Dutch physicians for a heart healthier alternative to butter and animal
fats. Since then, Becel has remained dedicated to educating Canadians
about the importance of heart healthy living, and launched the first
food fortified with plant sterols in Canada. Unilever, one of the
world's largest consumer products companies, adds vitality to life by
meeting everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care. Every
day, 160 million people choose Unilever brands to feed their families
and to clean themselves and their families.
i Statistics Canada..Canadian Health Measures Survey, Lipids (cholesterol
levels). The Daily Tuesday, March23, 2010. (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100323/dq100323a-eng.htm)
SOURCE UNILEVER CANADA INC.
For further information:
Nicolas Brancaccio / Alia Hassan
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