Heart Health

Your heart is the strongest muscle in your body responsible for circulating oxygen and nutrients to your organs and tissues and removing metabolic waste through a network of arteries and veins. Our daily habits have a big impact on our heart health (such as what we eat and drink, how active we are, whether we smoke and our stress levels) as do a range of non-modifiable risk factors such as our age, gender, ethnicity and family history.

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is a collection of conditions that is caused by poor heart health which affects the wider circulatory system. CVD includes a wide range of conditions such as heart disease, stroke and heart attacks.

Who is at risk of developing CVD?

There are a range of factors that can increase the risk of developing CVD. Some of these are known as non-modifiable which means we cannot change them, such as our age (our risk increases as we get older), ethnicity, gender and family history of heart conditions. However, there are many modifiable risk factors that we can make small daily change to that considerably reduces our risk.

Modifiable Risk Factors

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors


  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese

All of these factors are influenced by our diet, level of activity, alcohol consumption, stress, sleep and weight.


  • Age – our risk increases as we get older
  • Ethnicity – South Asian populations (Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani) have a higher risk of CVD as do those with an African Caribbean heritage.
  • Gender – men have a higher risk of developing heart disease prematurely than women
  • Family history – immediate family prevalence of CVD early in life increases your individual risk of developing CVD

It can seem overwhelming knowing where to start but even by making small changes to your diet, lifestyle or regular habits all add up to significantly reduce your modifiable risk factors. It’s never too late to start looking after your heart.

How Can I Look After My Heart?

Looking For Some Healthy Inspiration?

With over 50 healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch or dinner we can help you kick start a heart healthy approach. Choose by cuisines, meal type or ingredient to suit your foodie favourites. Start your recipe search here.


  • World Heart Federation. (2021) Cardiovascular Disease Infographic. https://world-heart-federation.org/resource/cardiovascular-disease-infographic [Accessed September 2021]
  • British Nutrition Foundation (ed.) (2019) Cardiovascular Disease: Diet, Nutrition and Emerging Risk Factors. 2nd Edition. London, Wiley-Blackwell