How to live longer: The one change you can make to ensure you live a long life

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There is lots of advice out there about how one can live longer. Quick remedies, strange recipes or unusual methods are all discussed. However, getting too much advice is almost just as frustrating as getting too little and how can one really know what works. Thankfully, the proof is in the pudding and a few small islands in the world seem to hold the answer. How? It’s simple, they say: Cut down on sugar completely.

Experts have touted everything when it comes to living a long and healthy life from exercising and eating more fruits and veggies to taking supplements.

And while these are all great ways to live healthy, the healthiest places in the world advocate one simple change.

South of Japan lies Okinawa, a group of islands known as the “land of the immortals”.

They have coined this term as residents here have among the longest life spans and the islands have the highest rates of centenarians in the world.

These islanders live on a traditional local diet which is rich in vegetables, soy products and seafood with hardly any sugar in sight. In fact, the diet only contains sugar which is found in the fruits they eat.

The rest of the diet involves low calorie, high-carb, high-protein and very sparse amounts of sugar.

In Pioppi, a village in southern Italy, residents often live to the age of 100. Doctor Aseem Malhortra, who studied the Pippion lifestyle, said: “Diet is the number one issue.

More than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol, it contributes to more disease and deaths. This should be the message form doctors – food is medicine.”

Pippions follow a Mediterranean diet that is rich in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. And their advice when it comes to sugar? They only eat desserts on Sundays.

If you are a person with a big sweet tooth try upping your fruit, eat more dates and dark chocolate and try making your own dressings.

Healthy snacks low in sugar:

Handful of nuts

Low fat yogurt

Hard boiled eggs

Fresh fruit

Eating too much sugar leads to weight gain, blood sugar problems and increased risk of heart disease.

Its advisable to always check the sugar content on food labels and try and avoid anything that has high-fructose, maltose, dextrose, rice syrup and caramel.

Sugar has been linked to heart disease, acne, diabetes, cancer, depression and accelerating the skin ageing process. Foods high in sugar also cause blood sugar swings which can lead to major fluctuations in energy levels making a person less inclined to want to exercise.

There is no such thing as a healthy weight, but a healthy person,” said Malhotra. “That is what we should be aiming for.”

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