Epigenetics suggests that our behavior can influence which of our genes are turned on or off. This has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in medicine. Most people tend to attribute far too much power to their genes. I’ve seen thousands of patients who have blamed genetics for their ailments and diseases, however it is your lifestyle washing over your genes that determines who you are in any moment. What you eat, how you move, how you restore your system, along with your thoughts, feelings and social connections regulate your genes. And those genes end up creating the expression of who you are and how you are. You can turn on genes that create health or disease, weight gain or weight loss.
Some genes can predispose you to obesity, type 2 diabetes or heart disease. But predisposition is not pre-destiny. Ninety percent of our current health is controlled by the environment in which we bathe our genes – the food we eat, our exercise regimen, our resilience in the face of stress and our exposure to environmental toxins. You don’t have to sit back and accept that you’re doomed to become fat and sick.
Thanks to epigenetics, you actually have a say in your health and you create optimal health with the power of food and lifestyle. Unfortunately, many doctors are still preaching outdated information about our genes, heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. The “genes are destiny” myth is so common—and so dangerous—that it becomes a big focus in my friend and colleague, Frank Lipman, MD’s latest book, 10 Reasons You Get Old and Feel Fat…: And How YOU Can Stay Young, Slim, and Happy!
In this book, Dr. Lipman takes on the myth that our genes are more powerful than our choices. He discusses genetic tendencies that can be affected by changes in lifestyle and diet including Alzheimer’s, anxiety, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
7 Factors that Affect Your Genetic Destiny
While your genes play some role, for the most part, they are not the main determinant of your health. In fact what matters more is your “exposome” – the environment to which your genes are exposed. Over 90 percent of chronic disease is determined by your exposome. In Dr. Lipman’s new book, he talks about the following seven factors that make up your exposome and can affect your genetic destiny:
- What you eat. Are you eating a real, whole foods diet filled with plenty of plant foods, adequate protein and healthy fats? Or are you eating a diet high in processed carbs and refined sugars? Cutting the junk is the number one tip.
- How you exercise. You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet, but exercise is a crucial part of achieving optimal health. Put frankly, the lower your fitness engagement, the higher your risk of death.
- Whether you get enough good sleep. Sleep deprivation makes you fat – AND leads to depression, pain, heart disease, diabetes, and much more. This book discusses ways to optimize your sleep time.
- How well you release stress. Stress wreaks havoc on your body. Managing your stress becomes key to living vibrantly.
- Which supplements you take. Following a personalized supplement protocol helps to address your particular health needs.
- The medications you take. Many medications actually weaken your body and undermine its ability to function
- How much meaning, purpose, passion, and community you have in your life.
You’ll get a deep insight into all seven of these factors in Dr. Lipman’s new book, and he will go on to bust many other health myths floating around, including the myth that fat makes you fat and causes heart disease. This, of course, is one of my favorite topics and the focus of my new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin.
We can take back our power and take back our health when we break through these big myths. If you’d like to learn more about epigenetics — or about many other common health myths — check out 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat…: And How YOU Can Stay Young, Slim, and Happy!