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The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region has shared four health tips to protect against noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

The rise of NCDs has been driven by primarily four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets, it said.

As per the WHO PRO, cutting back on salt and sugar are simple ways to reduce your risk of noncommunicable diseases.

The WHO has said that per day salt intake should not be more than 5 grams or 1 teaspoon. Instead, WHO has asked to experiment with fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt. “Reduce salty sauces and condiments like soy and fish sauce," it said.

Speaking about sugar consumption, WHO has asked to consume no more than 50 gram or 12 teaspoon of sugar per day. It further asked to cut down intake from 50 gram to 25 grams i.e. 6 teaspoon of sugar per day.

It has also asked people not to add salt and sugar to complementary foods given to children under 2 and should be limited beyond that age.

Secondly, WHO has said that another way to reduce risk of developing noncommunicable diseases is to watch your intake of saturated fats and trans-fats.

Select low-fat or reduced-fat milk and milk products, choose white meats like poultry and fish, it said. It further asked to limit the consumption of processed meats like beacon and sausages. Apart from this, WHO has also adviced to avoid processed, baked and fried foods that contain industrially produced trans-fat.

In its third health tip, WHO PRO has asked people to have a balanced diet. “Everyday, eat a variety of food which includes wholegrains like brown rice and wheat; legumes like lentils and beans; plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables," it said. It has also asked to include some foods from animal sources like meat, fish, eggs and milk. For snacks, it has asked to choose raw vegetables, fresh fruit and unsalted nuts.

Fourthly, WHO said that one way to reduce your risk of developing noncommunicable diseases is to be mindful of what you drink.

Listing some easy-to-follow nutrition tips on how to improve health simply through the choice of beverages, it said, “Reduce consumption of sugary beverages like soft drink, juices, flavoured water, and ready to drink coffee." It has also asked to avoid excessive and harmful use of alcohol and has advised to drink more water.

As per WHO, NCDs, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70 percent of all deaths worldwide. Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82 percent of the 16 million people who died prematurely, or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries.

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