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Home  > Health >  Weight Loss & Nutrition

The Live Long and Lean Diet
by Lauren Long

A healthful diet is one of the best defenses against disease and other health problems.

To live long and lean, nutritionist Shari Lieberman, Ph.D., recommends organic, whole fresh foods whenever possible, plus these nine tips:

1. Eliminate processed foods. Skip the snacks and convenience foods, and keep white flour out of your diet.

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2. Eat plenty of whole grains. Dig in to brown rice, whole-grain breads and cereals.

3. Use low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Supplement or substitute the low- and fat-free dairy products with dairy alternatives such as soymilk, rice milk or soy cheese.

4. Avoid high-fat meats. Cut way back on pork, lamb and beef. If you eat red meat, select leaner cuts. Chicken, turkey, seafood and organic eggs are preferable to red meat.

5. Use butter and oil sparingly. Never use margarine, which contains oil that has been hydrogenated. Hydrogenated vegetable oils contain trans-fatty acids, which may increase low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, often referred to as "bad cholesterol"). Instead, use vegetable or chicken broth or apple juice for sautéing and flavoring dishes.

6. Cut back on caffeinated and sugary beverages. Instead of coffee, tea, sodas and other beverages that contain caffeine or sugar, try seltzer, herbal teas, grain-based coffee substitutes and filtered or bottled water.

7. Cook food quickly and with little fat. To preserve nutrients, eat vegetables raw, steamed or stir-fried in a small amount of oil, apple juice or vegetable broth.

8. Eat slowly and enjoy your food. The slower you eat, the less you are likely to consume.

9. Avoid sugar. You may substitute honey, maple syrup or blackstrap molasses, but use these sparingly. Keep in mind that fruit is a major source of sugar.

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