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Celebrate World Heart Day With Workplace Wellness

Brown Bag it with Healthy Recipes Made with Canola Oil

CHICAGO, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Put your heart into work this fall - as in protect your heart at work - in honor of World Heart Day* Sept. 27, which is celebrating workplace wellness this year. Heart disease is the number one cause of death globally. By 2015, almost 20 million people will die from cardiovascular diseases, mainly from heart disease and stroke, estimates the World Health Organization. The good news is that these diseases are largely preventable through a healthy diet, physical activity and other wise lifestyle choices. Here are a few easy, heart-smart tips for year-round workplace wellness:

  1. PACK IT UP. Packing a lunch, instead of eating out, allows you to control calories, fat and money, while incorporating healthy ingredients that are low in saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. Such ingredients include canola oil** and canola mayonnaise.
  2. STEP AWAY FROM THE DESK. No matter how busy your day, head outside for lunch or take a short break in the kitchen or cafeteria. You'll be more satisfied and recharged after paying attention to your food instead of your e-mail. Plus, your work area will stay cleaner.
  3. PLAN AHEAD FOR LEFTOVERS. Prepare larger healthy meals for dinner to have leftovers for work. Not only will this spice up the brown bag, but you will be fueled for productivity. Leftovers can be stretched out for two or three days as well.
  4. GET MOVING. Save time at lunch for a walk and make a habit out of taking the stairs, getting off the bus a few blocks earlier or parking your car farther away when commuting to the office.
  5. TEAM UP. Partner with a co-worker to commit to a nutrition and fitness plan. For example, a 2008 American Heart Association (AHA) survey revealed that adult Americans are 76 percent more likely to walk if someone else is counting on them.
  6. BREAK FOR WATER, NOT COFFEE. The human body loses about 10 cups of water during daily activity, so it's important to replenish. The AHA recommends drinking six to eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated.
  7. LAUGH FOR LIFE. Minimizing stress is important for wellness and laughter is the best medicine. Crack jokes with your co-workers - whatever it takes to ease deadlines.

"Most people spend about 60 percent of their waking hours at work, so healthy choices in the workplace are critical for overall wellness," says Hope Barkoukis, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., associate professor of nutrition in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. "A diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits and vegetables combined with regular physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease. So choose your foods and fats like you choose your friends - think quality, not just quantity."

Obtain five easy, nutritious and delicious lunch recipes made with canola oil at These workplace wellness recipes include a romaine salad with homemade blue cheese vinaigrette, vegetarian pasta salad, chicken wrap and lunchbox granola bars. For high-resolution photos and/or an interview with Dr. Barkoukis, e-mail

* World Heart Day is a trademark of the World Heart Federation (

** Limited and not conclusive scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoons (19 grams) of canola oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in canola oil. To achieve this possible benefit, canola oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. - U.S. Food and Drug Administration qualified health claim

CanolaInfo is the information source for consumers, health professionals, chefs, media and educators - everyone who wants to know more about canola oil, the world's healthiest oil. The CanolaInfo team is supported by North America's canola growers, crop input suppliers, exporters, processors, food manufacturers and governments.

SOURCE CanolaInfo
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