How to live longer: The five key criteria for protecting against cancer and an early death

The key to living longer could be to eat a healthy, balanced diet – including at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day – as well as regular exercise. But you could boost your life expectancy with these five tips for leading a healthy life.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a well-rounded diet is crucial to prolonging your lifespan.

You could also boost your lifespan by doing regular exercise. It’s the “miracle cure” we’ve all been waiting for, according to the NHS.

Making some small diet or lifestyle changes could help to increase your life expectancy and avoid an early death.

Leading a healthy lifestyle has been claimed to add years onto your lifespan.

There are five key factors that determine whether you lead a healthy lifestyle, according to Harvard Medical School.

It’s important that you follow a healthy diet plan, that includes both fruit and vegetables, as well as healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids.

Your level of exercise, your body weight, your alcohol intake, and whether you smoke or not all has an impact on your overall health.

Men that match the five criteria could live up to 12 years longer than those that don’t, while women can live up to 14 years longer.


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“As it turns out, healthy habits make a big difference,” said Harvard Medical School’s clinical instructor, Dr Monique Tello.

“According to analysis, people who met criteria for all five habits enjoyed significantly, impressively longer lives than those who had none.

“People who had none of these habits were far more likely to die prematurely from cancer or cardiovascular disease.

“Just one healthy habit [and it didn’t matter which one]… just one… extended life expectancy by two years in men and women. Not surprisingly, the more healthy habits people had, the longer their lifespan.”


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Five key criteria for a healthy lifestyle:

Healthy diet
Calculated and rated based on the reported intake of healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, healthy fats, and omega-3 fatty acids, and unhealthy foods like red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat, and sodium.

Healthy physical activity level
Measured as at least 30 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity daily.

Healthy body weight
Defined as a normal body mass index [BMI], which is between 18.5 and 24.9.

Well, there is no healthy amount of smoking. ‘Healthy’ here meant never having smoked.

Moderate alcohol intake
Measured as between 5 and 15 grams per day for women, and 5 to 30 grams per day for men. Generally, one drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol. That’s 12 ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.


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Meanwhile, regular exercise is a crucial aspect to improving overall health, and helping you to live longer, according to the NHS.

People that do regular exercise are up to 50 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

It may even slash the chances of coronary heart disease and stroke by up to 35 percent.

All UK adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.

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