Eating starchy snacks, like potato chips, between main meals can increase the risk of death by 50 percent, a new study has found - and death from cardiovascular disease by 44-57 percent.
Researchers at China's Harbin Medical University studied the eating habits of more than 21,500 American adults over 11 years.
This study found specifically eating fruit at lunchtime and vegetables at dinner is the key to warding off cancer and heart disease.
The researchers found that people who consumed dinners with a high quantity of vegetables had a 23 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease - and were 31 percent less likely to die from any other condition.
However, Western diets typically consist of high amounts of refined grains, cheeses and cured meats. Participants in the trial who frequently ate these foods were linked to a 44 percent increase in cardiovascular-related mortality.
Nutritionist Ying Li, the lead in the study, told the Daily Mail the researchers had linked a heightened risk of negative health outcomes with starchy snacking throughout the day - particularly for those who snacked in-between meals.
Consuming high-fat snacks like potato chips between main meals can increase the risk of death by 50 percent, the study found.
Li said he and his colleagues found it interesting "the intake time of various types of foods are equally critical for maintaining optimal health."