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Alter your lifestyle to live longer

health and fitness Updated: Mar 22, 2010 14:45 IST

Highlight Story

DietingForget crash diets and obsessive calorie counting. A new study shows that it takes only slight changes to your eating habits to improve your long term health.

Cut back on the number of times you shake the salt cellar or grind your salt mill. A healthy adult intake is 6 grams, so even the smallest reduction has an impact on your health.

Research shows that dropping your salt intake by as much as 3 grams a day would be enough to trigger a measurable fall in blood pressure, reducing your risk of stroke by 13 percent and heart disease by 10 percent, reported

Reduce sugar in your tea or coffee from two teaspoons to one and you could save yourself up to 30 grams of sugar a day. At 15 calories per teaspoon, that's a cut of 32,000 calories a year.

Avoid products with the words 'hydrogenated fat' in the ingredients list - culprits include low-cost cakes, biscuits and pastries.

Studies show that eating even small amounts of trans fats or unsaturated fat increases your risk of heart disease more than consuming any other food.

Instead of filling your plate with carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potato) and meat, first fill half the plate with salad or vegetables, then split the remaining half between carbohydrates and meat. Like this can cut calorie intake by 200 calories.

Peeling the skin off your chicken drumstick before you eat it will immediately cut out 4 grams of fat without any sense of deprivation.

Make the switch from high sugar fizzy drinks (cola contains eight teaspoons of sugar in every can) to water and you will be reducing your sugar intake by 40 grams of sugar every time.

Adding one more serving of vegetables a day may reduce your risk of breast cancer by 21 per cent.