Certain foods and eating habits are linked to a longer life. Eating a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, wholegrains, beans and seeds has been linked to improved health outcomes.

David Wiener, a Nutritionist at AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, said there are many benefits to eating a varied diet, packed full of different types of foods.

He said: “A lot of these foods include nutrients and minerals which could improve our gut health, lower the risk of obesity, and improve life span.

“On the other hand, however, there are foods which can have the opposite effect.”

Wiener said to live the most happy and healthy life, you should avoid the following foods.

Processed foods

Processed foods might seem like a quick and easy fix for your hunger, and even marketed as a healthy choice.

But Wiener said: “To extend your lifespan it is advised to avoid processed foods where possible. Healthy food doesn’t take long to make, and if you know you have a busy week, food prep is key. Food preparation is key to any weight loss plan, and it will make all the difference to a healthier, happier life.”

Alcohol

When drinking in moderation, alcohol can increase the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of clogged arteries.

But Wiener warned: “Drinking too much can have the opposite effect. Whilst some may find it impossible to cut out alcohol completely, drinking alcohol in moderation or lowering your alcohol intake can have a significant effect on your health and lifespan.”

Salt

Any food item that is full of salt or sodium is guaranteed to raise your blood pressure reading.

Wiener said: “Eating too much salt causes your body to hold in extra water to rid the excess salt from your body and this can cause your blood pressure to rise. In addition, the added water puts stress on your heart and blood vessels, which can result in serious health conditions as you get older.”

Saturated fats

There are many foods that can help lower your cholesterol levels and ensure a healthy diet for living longer.

Wiener explained: “The main way to do this is cut down saturated fat and replace it with unsaturated fat. Food products rich in unsaturated fats include vegetable oils, olive oil, sunflower oil, and oil from nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds themselves, as well as avocados, have also been known to be rich in unsaturated fats. Another good source of unsaturated fats is oily fish which also contain omega-3 fats and as a general guide, we should try and incorporate these foods into our diet at least twice a week.”

Ready meals

Ready meals should be avoided if you’re trying to extend your life span.

Wiener said: “These sorts of foods contain tons of artificial ingredients which lengthen the shelf life of the product, but these can be harmful to your body. Most ready meals are also devoid of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are pumped into the food instead, but these components are not nearly as good as the original sources, and far harder for the body to digest which can result in bloating and digestive discomfort.”

Margarine

Margarine has become an increasingly popular alternative to butter despite being highly processed and full of chemicals, and it has been linked to a number of health issues, said Wiener.

He continued: “The ingredient diacetyl, found in margarine advances the clumping of the protein beta-amyloid, which is a common feature in dementia and Alzheimer’s. This ingredient may also increase the toxic effects of this protein within the brain.”

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