BBC Science

Healthy LifeHealthy Life is Australia’s home of ‘feel good’. Have food on hand that is healthy, quick, and easy to eat, such as fresh fruit, yogurt, whole grain bread, crackers, or bagels for times when you are in a hurry or don’t feel like preparing a meal. Try to schedule regular grocery shopping trips so you don’t have to eat fast food or junk food just because you are hungry.

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Eat what you need. It is better to eat less and in line with your energy needs, rather than eat excessively and work off excess calorie intake through exercise. When you eat excessively, you strain your digestive system by making it digest more food than you need, and when you exercise excessively, you strain your body.

So, what do we need to do to enhance the length and quality of our lives even more? Researchers worldwide are pursuing various ideas , but for Mattison and colleagues, the answer is a simple change in diet. They believe that the key to a better old age may be to reduce the amount of food on our plates, via an approach called calorie restriction”. This diet goes further than cutting back on fatty foods from time-to-time; it’s about making gradual and careful reductions in portion size permanently. Since the early 1930s, a 30% reduction in the amount of food consumed per day has been linked to longer, more active lives in worms, flies, rats, mice, and monkeys. Across the animal kingdom, in other words, calorie restriction has proven the best remedy for the ravages of life. And it’s possible that humans have just as much to gain.

Due to the need to provide comparable data for healthy life expectancy over a long time period, the remainder of this chapter focuses on data up to 2012 to 2014 only. Data for 2013 to 2015 are based on a new methodology that is not directly comparable with the earlier period (table 1). You don’t need to stop eating anything completely if you really like it; everything is okay in small doses. Sourdough isn’t generally considered white bread; it’s considered its own kind of bread, and some think it’s healthier than plain white bread. Whole wheat bread is healthier, though.