Expatriate medical insurance policyholders who eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day are less likely to die prematurely.
Research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that in the UK, some 33,000 deaths each year could be prevented or delayed if individuals eat more fresh produce and cut salt and fat consumption to recommended levels.
Researchers looked at a number of studies and input the findings into a conceptual model in order to calculate the number of lives that could be saved if more people met dietary recommendations.
Such targets recommend individuals eat 440g of fruit and veg a day, along with 18g of fibre, 6g salt and take a third of their total energy intake from fats.
However, a lower salt intake could cut more deaths, the researchers said.
"In order to achieve a reduction in mortalities similar to those attained by achieving the fruit and vegetables recommendation, the salt recommendation should be set at 3.5 g per day.
"To achieve a similar reduction in cardiovascular mortalities, the saturated fat recommendation should be set at three per cent of total energy," the report authors added.
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