Scientists have advocated that just by making slight changes to your eating habits might in fact dramatically improve your long-term health. So instead of attempting insane diets and crazy calorie counting, try these simple tricks out for a change:

Cut back on the number of times you shake the salt cellar or grind your salt mill. Each shake delivers around 1⁄2g of salt every time. Research shows that dropping your salt intake by as much as 3g a day would be enough to trigger a measurable fall in blood pressure, reducing your risk of stroke by 13 per cent and heart disease by 10 per cent.

Reduce sugar in your tea or coffee from two teaspoons to one, and you could save yourself up to 30g of sugar a day (if you drink six cups daily). That saves nearly 11kg of sugar a year. At 15 calories per teaspoon, that's a cut of 32,000 calories a year. You'd have to run 12 marathons (at 100 calories used per mile) to burn the equivalent of that amount.

Avoid products with the words 'hydrogenated fat' in the ingredients list which can be found in low-cost cakes, biscuits and pastries. Studies show that eating even small amounts of transfats - or unsaturated fat - increases your risk of heart disease more than consuming any other food, and that by replacing just 2 per cent of your intake from transfats with different fats you can more than half your risk (by up to 53%).

Instead of filling your plate with carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potato) and meat, first fill half the plate with salad or vegetables, then split the remaining half between carbohydrates and meat.
Halving the quantity of rice for instance, can cut calorie intake by 200 calories. Do this once a day and within two weeks you should have cut out enough calories to lose a pound of body fat.

Peeling the skin off your chicken drumstick before you eat it will immediately cut out 4g of fat without any sense of deprivation. Reducing your saturated fat intake like this not only helps you manage your weight, but also helps to lower your cholesterol and cuts your risk of heart disease.

Make the switch from sugar-loaded soft drinks  to water and you'll be reducing your sugar intake by 40g of sugar every time. Liquid sugar in these drinks is delivered so quickly into your system, sugary drinks can increase your risk of insulin resistance which in turn increases your risk of developing diabetes.

Stop nibbling peanuts without thinking. There are 622 calories in a 100g fistful. It would take one hour of swimming to burn off that small, salty snack. Mixed nuts is little better at 150 calories a handful, while fat-free Japanese rice mix will set you back 120 calories.

Squirt a slightly smaller dollop of ketchup onto your plate. Each serving contains one to two teaspoons of hidden sugar (up to 10g). So by cutting back to the recommended serving size on the bottle (15g or two teaspoons), you will be more than halving your intake of extra, unnecessary sugar.

Resist grab-and-go breakfast takeaways. These are usually high in saturated fat and sugar. Instead, try getting up a bit earlier and make two pieces of toast and a cup of tea at home. Not only will you cut back on costs but on calories as well. You can even add butter and jam and put a teaspoon of sugar in your tea and still lose weight.

Consume a single full-fat biscuit rather instead of two or three low-fat versions. Most low-fat foods are made palatable by a massively increased sugar content. A low-fat biscuit, for instance, can contain as much as 50 per cent more sugar than a normal biscuit.

For more simple tricks on how to tweak your diet, visit the link below.

[Daily Mail]