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Heart Month

February is Heart Month in Canada, an initiative inspired by a fundraising event, “Heart Sunday”, in the 1950s and has since spread across the country. Heart Month aims to make us aware of the fact that heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths every year, and that there are lifestyle strategies we can all adapt into our lives to avoid being vulnerable to these deadly diseases before our time. Heart Month also features a fundraising drive with donations supporting the acceleration of research into the causes and prevention of these illnesses. More individuals with risk factors for heart disease and stroke are identified in Canada each year. Higher rates of obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and an increase of diabetes are placing diverse populations at  increased risk and affecting the health of future generations. Consider volunteering three hours of your time this February and help to raise money and awareness in your own community. As a Heart and Stroke Foundation canvasser, you’ll be talking to your neighbours about the importance of supporting the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s research. Get more information about volunteering and living a healthier lifestyle by visiting the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website. Read more(…)

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Five Ways to Jump Start Your Heart

Everyday your heart is working for you. It’s pumping blood and oxygen to your vital organs and giving you vitality and strength. With everything your heart does for you, it’s a good idea to think about doing something in return, at least once a day, to make sure it keeps ticking strong for years to come. Here are five tips for giving your heart a little extra love. Grab your note pad, this deserves a spot on your “to do” list. Five tips to a healthier heart: Limit processed food. Processed food is often high in sodium and sometimes in artificial trans fat. Consumed in important amounts, both can have a negative impact on heart health. Choose preferably fresh food that you will be able to cook at home. Stress less. Whether it’s reading a book in a quiet room, enjoying a weekly run or yoga class or getting in an extra hour of sleep, consider it your part-time job to keep your stress levels low. Limiting stress will help you keep your heart healthy in the long term. Although the relationship between stress and heart disease is not completely clear, high levels of stress may be linked with higher(…)

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Cooking together makes it more fun!

Looking for ways to make cooking more fun? The recipe is easy: cook at home so you can control what you eat. And to make the task even more enjoyable, invite your roommate, spouse or family to cook with you. There’s nothing more relaxing than cooking with someone you love! That way, you can share the work (and the cleaning up!) while you chat about your day. Cooking at home, in good company, also means you’ll be less tempted to eat fast or frozen food, get a pizza delivered or eat out in restaurants. Although all of these options are great from time to time, it’s better to avoid eating too much salt, sugar and/or fat. Preparing food at home in the company of loved ones has several advantages. According to our “co-chef,” cooking “diverts attention away from the food so you snack less and therefore eat less.” The result? Your digestive system will be much better off! Also, when you cook at home, you can choose which ingredients to use and can opt to add more fibre into your dishes, which promotes healthy intestinal regularity. Finally, cooking at home means you’ll have more money in your pocket since eating(…)

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We all try to eat our five to ten fruits and vegetables a day, to improve our overall health and to kick bad habits like smoking. But it’s important to set specific, realistic goals to make those changes. So how do we develop good habits to make permanent changes in our everyday lives? There’s no big secret; we just have to repeat good patterns of behaviour until they become natural and subconscious. Planning and visualizing your goals will help you get there. The idea is not so much to break bad habits but to develop new and healthier ones. Train your brain Start with a clear vision of what you want to achieve and then put that vision into practice over time. Incorporate good habits into your life gradually, until they become the routine and changes you can stick to over the long term. Take some time to visualize the new habits you want to develop. Setting positive, clear goals that you want to achieve is key to lasting change. The idea is to create and maintain new patterns in your brain. Don’t give up Establishing an objective in your mind will help you direct your energy in the right(…)

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