Dear Dr. Billings: One of my New Year's resolutions is to start improving my diet...more natural foods, less fat, more fiber, etc. Can you recommend any books that would serve as good guides to this new lifestyle? -- Paula in Pittsburgh.

Dear Paula: All this fuss about nutrition really chaps my cheeks. Here's the only rule you need: If it tastes good, it's good for you. Good grief, if the man upstairs didn't want us eating cheeseburgers, do you think he'd have made them so delicious? Just make sure you balance those burgers with a vegetable or two. A side of fries and some onions on the burger should do the trick.

And all these substitutes...sugar substitutes, fat substitutes. What could be more natural than good, old-fashioned lard? It comes straight from one of God's creatures, for pete's sake! Just let your taste buds be your guide. Try this simple a big spoonful of tofu, follow it up with a man-sized bite of T-bone steak, charbroiled medium rare, and then ask yourself,"Which of these were meant to be eaten?" The answer will be obvious. I think this simple test will clear things up for you.

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