How to live longer: Five healthy food swaps to help you live a longer life

Health experts recommend everyone eat a healthy, balanced diet containing food from each of the main food groups. The main food groups comprise carbohydrates, protein, milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and fats and sugars. But some foods in the main food groups are better for overall health than others, so which should you eat more of and which should you eat less of? spoke to Steve Kippax, author of Health in Theory and Practice, who shared five healthy food swaps to help keep you in good health.

Sweeteners are shrouded in controversy and are wise to either extremely limit or ideally avoid

Steve Kippax

Swap white flour products for brown/wholemeal

“White flour products can aggravate digestive problems, creating bloating, irregularity, discomfort, wind and pain,” said Kippax.

Although small amounts of white flour may not have a negative effect, it’s important to take into account the foods in which it can be ‘hidden’, so you could be consuming a lot more than you realise.

Swap coffee for tea

Coffee is a stimulant which has been linked to high blood pressure and poor gut health, so should be consumed in moderation, noted Kippax.

“Tea also has stimulating effects, but there are a variety of mitigating factors that mean it is less detrimental than coffee,” said Kippax.

Green tea in particular is high in antioxidants and therefore good at reducing inflammation and free radicals – which harm cell health.

Swap pork for poultry

Some types of pork, such as bacon, are high in saturated fat which can increase cholesterol, leading to heart problems.

Pork has also been linked to certain arthritic problems, due to it containing uric acid and causing inflammation.

Red and processed meats are also associated with a higher risk of bowel cancer.

“Organic poultry – chicken, turkey and duck provide protein without the detrimental health effects of pork,” said Kippax.

Swap sugar and sweeteners for honey or maple syrup

“Sweeteners are shrouded in controversy and are wise to either extremely limit or ideally avoid,” said Kippax.

Refined sugar, meanwhile, is associated with a variety of conditions including obesity and diabetes.

Swap cows’ products for goats’ products

Dairy products from cows are associated with allergies, skin condition and digestive problems.

Dairy products from goats, meanwhile, are less allergenic as the fat molecule is smaller and thus more closely resembles human milk.

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