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Experts say this is the healthiest diet to follow

Just say no to junk food.

Unhealthy eating now claims more lives than tobacco, according to new findings published in The Lancet.

They revealed that one in five deaths a year, or 11 million worldwide, are a result of a bad diet.

The researchers used nearly 20 years of data from 195 countries, including Malta.

They said dietary risks came from eating too much sugar, salt and red meat and not enough fruit and veg.

The research also showed that having a high body weight – which is directly related to a poor diet – is responsible for 9.5 per cent of ill health.

So which diet is the best?

The countries with the fewest deaths from bad eating habits were the ones that follow the Mediterranean diet, such as Spain and Italy.

The Mediterranean diet was once again crowned the best diet to follow overall.

Forget Maltese pastizzi, it involves eating a diet rich in fish, nuts, olive oil, fresh fruit and veg – and also allows for the odd glass of red wine while lowering your intake of red meat, refined sugar and saturated fat.

It’s been linked to better heart health, cancer prevention and even a lower risk of depression.