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Five daily habits to keep you healthy

 Include veggies in your meal; eat fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks. [iStockphoto]
Eat a combination of different foods

These include fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Did you know that adults should eat at least five portions (400g) of fruit and vegetables per day? Tricky? Try including veggies in your meal; eating fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks; eating a variety of fruits and vegetables; and eating them in season.

Consume less salt and sugar

Reduce your salt intake to 5g (1 tsp) per day by limiting added salt, soy sauce and high-sodium condiments when preparing meals; removing salt and condiments from your meal table; avoiding salty snacks and choosing low-sodium products. Reduce your daily sugar intake (less than 12 tsp or 50g - soft drinks have 17- 52g) by limiting the consumption of sugary snacks, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages including tea and coffee.

Reduce intake of harmful fat

There are different types of fats, but unsaturated fats are preferable over saturated fats and trans-fats. Preferable unsaturated fats are found in fish, avocado and nuts, and in sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils; saturated fats are found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard; and trans-fats are found in baked and fried foods, and pre-packaged snacks and foods such as cookies, biscuits, and cooking oils and spreads.

Avoid harmful use of alcohol

There is no safe level for drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol can lead to health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence, major non-communicable diseases such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers and heart diseases, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road clashes and collisions.

Prepare your food correctly

When preparing food, follow the Five Keys to Safer Food: (1) Keep clean; (2) Separate raw and cooked; (3) Cook thoroughly; (4) Keep food at safe temperatures; and (5) Use safe water and raw materials.

Source: World Health Organisation

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