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This question originally appeared on Quora. Answer by Dr. Ray Schilling, author of Healing Gone Wrong-Healing Done Right.

If you want to live a long life, there are these steps you can take:

  1. Cut out sugar and starchy foods as they cause an insulin reaction and cause various diseases like heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity and more.
  2. Do not overuse alcohol as it leads to cirrhosis of the liver and can kill you in your mid to late 50’s. The limit is two drinks for a male per day and 1 drink for a female per day. Personally, I go for weeks without a drink.
  3. Exercise regularly. This is important to maintain your muscle mass and to keep your heart and lungs in top shape.
  4. Adopt a Mediterranean diet as this has been shown by many trials to be the healthiest diet: lots of vegetables, fruit, clean, lean meats, fish, nuts, olive oil. This diet actually prolongs life by 5 to 10 years.
  5. Avoid processed food as it has too much sugar in it. Buy single component, natural foods and you best cook your meals on your own. This way you know what is in it.

But there are many other things you can do personally:

  1. Get a good education. Choose your profession or job by what you really like to do. You are “stuck” with this job until your retirement, but if you enjoy it, it is so much easier to do. And it makes you money, so you can later do the things you want to do.
  2. If you have leftover money from earnings, you may want to get into real estate. But you need to be careful: buy low and sell high. Sometimes it takes 10 years or longer to cash in. Never rush things.
  3. Be careful about your choice regarding a life partner. Take your time to get to know to each other. This takes time too. It will declare itself. Either it works out, or it doesn’t. If it works out, it is the most rewarding thing in your life.
  4. When it comes to money, don’t overspend. Even rich people can get broke, if they overspend. Closely associated with this is not having any mortgage as you are older. You want to pay it back as soon as you can (I know: easier said than done). But if you do number 2 above several times wisely, you will repay that dreaded mortgage.

These are only a few suggestions I have right now, but I think they could benefit many people.

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