“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,” said PAHO in a statement.
“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,” it added.
But across cultures, PAHO said there are some common food tips for helping to lead healthier, longer lives.
PAHO also recommends choosing wholegrain foods, like unprocessed maize, millet, oats, wheat, and brown rice, stating that they are rich in valuable fiber and can help one feel full for longer.
Also, PAHO urges lean meats “where possible, or trim it of visible fat”, and try steaming or boiling instead of frying foods when cooking.
For snacks, the health organization recommends choosing raw vegetables, unsalted nuts, and fresh fruit rather than foods that are high in sugars, fats or salt.
PAHO said too much salt can raise blood pressure, “which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke”.
“Most people around the world overeat salt. On average, we consume double the WHO (World Health Organization) recommended a limit of 5 grams (equivalent to a teaspoon) a day.
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