The Genetics Myth

Project1Genetics is overplayed in most minds. I’ve heard many say, “High cholesterol is hereditary in my family. Mine is heightened just because of my genes.” I’ve also had patients tell me their Aunt Mary never exercised, ate butter, eggs, gravy, and fried potatoes all her life, and lived to be eighty-nine, so they can live a sedentary life because they have good genes. What they don’t realize is that Aunt Mary may be the 1 in a 1,000 who survived that long, but the studies show that the other 999 died before they should have. Plus, their last five years of life were terrible.

So, my suggestion is to not even think about relying on good genes when contemplating a lifestyle of staying as young as possible. The other side of the coin, the bad genetic side, makes it even more important to develop your lifestyle properly. If you have a family history of heart disease, if one of your parents has had a heart attack at a young age (40-60 years old), there probably is a genetic factor at play. All that means is that you have to be even more committed to protect your arteries. So, either way, genetics is not a absolution from working on your habits of health.

What you inherit is not nearly as significant as your present lifestyle – the gift you give yourself!

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