How to live longer: Two small dietary tweaks that may have the biggest impact – expert tip

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Living a long and healthy life has never been more achievable thanks to advances in science and medicine. Perhaps the greatest revelation to come out of these fields is the ease at which people can boost their lifespan. The answer invariably lies in the food we eat and research continues to show how simple improvements can have an outsized impact.

This is the guiding principle behind Human Health by The Clinic, an independent clinic founded by Dr Mayoni Gooneratne.

“We aim to encourage patients to start slowly to change the direction of the trajectory of their health journey,” she explained to

“Implementing small regular changes that then become habits are far more achievable than suddenly deciding to become a triathlete and with better health benefits for most individuals.”

Dr Gooneratne pointed to two key dietary principles that can have a profound impact on your lifespan.

The first tip Dr Gooneratne advised to boost longevity is reduce your sugar intake.

She explained: “Reducing sugar intake will reduce the inflammatory effect that refined sugar has on all our cells.

“This single behaviour will begin to reduce the risks of chronic disease.”

One of the primary benefits of reducing your sugar intake is that it helps to keep obesity at bay.

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Dr Gooneratne cited a review published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that illustrates the dangers of added sugars in particular.

Added sugars are defined as sugars that are added to foods during food processing, manufacturing, or preparation.

“Most health authorities agree that overconsumption of added sugars, and particularly sugar sweetened drinks, has contributed to the obesity epidemic,” the study researchers noted.

In meta-analyses of trials in adults consuming unrestricted diets, reduced intake of added sugars was associated with a modest decrease in body weight, while higher intake is associated with a comparable gain.

According to Dr Gooneratne, the other key tip (which is linked to the first) for boosting longevity is to cook from scratch.

“Eating ultra-processed foods has been shown to result in weight gain with all of its associated medical issues,” warned Dr Gooneratne.

She added: “Also there are huge health gains associated with eating home-made fermented foods such as Kombucha and Kimchi.”

Fermentation describes a chemical change brought about using microorganisms.

Kombucha is a fermented tea and kimchi is a fermented vegetable.

The benefits of consuming these fermented products include a reduced risk of heart disease, research suggests.

According to a rat study published in the journal Springer Nature, kombucha greatly improved two markers of heart disease: “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, in as few as 30 days.

Bad cholesterol clings to the inside of your artery walls, hiking your risk of heart disease.

Good cholesterol counters this harmful process by picking it up and transporting to the liver where it is flushed out.

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