Diet advice usually comes with a whole lot of don'ts: Don't eat this, and don't drink that.

So let me add one more "don't" to the list: Don't listen to all that mainstream nonsense... because you don't have to give up your favorite foods to live long, and a new study proves it.

The only other "don't" you really need is this one: Don't eat sugar--because researchers have confirmed that it's the quickest path to an early grave.

The researchers also say the best way to ensure a long and healthy life is through a diet high in what the mainstream considers healthy food: low-fat dairy, fish, vegetables and whole grains.

But don't put down your steak knife just yet, because the researchers also found something else... something they weren't quite as eager to discuss in the pages of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Something they later admitted was "unexpected," probably because it doesn't jibe with all those "don'ts" you usually hear: People who ate the most meat and fried foods and had a steady, moderate drinking habit lived just as long as the so- called "healthy" eaters.

And that means maybe you don't have to stick to poached chicken and salad greens after all.

In the study, researchers tracked more than 2,500 adults between the ages of 70 and 79 for 10 years, splitting them into six groups based on the types of food they ate most frequently: "healthy foods," "high-fat dairy," "meat, fried foods, and alcohol," "breakfast cereal," "refined grains" and "sweets and desserts."

After adjusting for risk factors, they found that high-fat dairy eaters--think ice cream--had a 40 percent higher risk of dying during the study period, while the sweets-and-desserts crowd had a 37 percent higher risk of death.

That's compared to the so-called healthy eaters... but that's where the researchers lose some credibility here--because even though the seniors in the "meat, fried foods and alcohol" group were just as likely to remain alive as those on the supposedly healthy diet, they were practically ignored.

It was as if they couldn't explain it... so they didn't even bother to try, despite the fact that those eaters represented the single biggest group in the study, with nearly twice as many of them than in the supposedly healthy group.

Sounds to me like it's time to fry yourself a steak, crack open a beer--and ignore all the "don'ts."

Your diet is just one measure of how long you might live... keep reading for an even simpler one.