5 tips for a healthy diet this New Year – World Health Organization

Whatever your New Year’s Resolution, a healthy and balanced diet will provide many benefits into 2019 and beyond. What we eat and drink can affect our body’s ability to fight infections, as well as how likely we are to develop health problems later in life, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and different types of cancer. 
The exact ingredients of a healthy diet will depend on different factors like how old and how active we are, as well as the kinds of foods that are available in the communities where we live. But across cultures, there are some common food tips for helping us lead healthier, longer lives.
 
Our bodies are incredibly complex, and (with the exception of breast milk for babies) no single food contains all the nutrients we need for them to work at their best. Our diets must therefore contain a wide variety of fresh and nutritious foods to keep us going strong.

Some tips to ensure a balanced diet:

 
Too much salt can raise blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Most people around the world eat too much salt: on average, we consume double the WHO recommended limit of 5 grams (equivalent to a teaspoon) a day.  
Even if we don’t add extra salt in our food, we should be aware that it is commonly put in processed foods or drinks, and often in high amounts.
Some tips to reduce your salt intake: 
 
Reduce use of certain fats and oil
We all need some fat in our diet, but eating too much – especially the wrong kinds – increases risks of obesity, heart disease and stroke.  Industrially-produced trans fats are the most hazardous for health. A diet high in this kind of fat has been found to raise risk of heart disease by nearly 30%.

Some tips to reduce fat consumption:
 
 
 
Too much sugar is not only bad for our teeth, but increases the risk of unhealthy weight gain and obesity, which can lead to serious, chronic health problems.

As with salt, it’s important to take note of the amount of “hidden” sugars that can be in processed food and drinks. For example, a single can of soda can contain up to 10 teaspoons of added sugar!
Some tips to reduce sugar intake:
Alcohol is not a part of a healthy diet, but in many cultures New Year’s celebrations are associated with heavy alcohol consumption. Overall, drinking too much, or too often, increases your immediate risk of injury, as well as causing longer-term effects like liver damage, cancer, heart disease and mental illness.
WHO advises that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption; and for many people even low levels of alcohol use can still be associated with significant health risks .
 
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