Several important lessons have come to our ever-expanding list of readings over the past year. They all emphasize the same thing: If you decide to make some simple decisions each day, your life will be a 20- or 30-year-old’s.
In a sense, he is a genetic engineer. True, you may have a vague idea of what DNA and genes are, but your diet and other choices determine the 1,500 or more than 22,500 genes that produce or break down protein. And those proteins you produce? They determine if you have inflammatory or painful disease or acute arthritis or cancer.
You are a genetic engineer in terms of exercise, diet, whether you can manage your stress, whether you smoke or whether you live near a highway.
Let’s look at some of these lessons. In one study, over 190,000 people made five major life changes:
Healthy eating and diet control (avoid light sugars and saturated fats, focusing on healthy fats and complex carbohydrates).
Engaging in mind-boggling activities.
To avoid exposure to tobacco.
Excessive drinking (seven drinks or less a week for women, 14 or less for men).
Results? Participants reduced their risk of dementia by 60 percent regardless of their genetic risk. This means that even if you have a high risk of genetic predisposition to delayed onset, you can still reduce your risk by 60 percent by making some lifestyle changes.
In a study of more than 40 million people who died in nearly 200 countries, we learned that choosing a diet was more important than using tobacco or high blood pressure when talking about death and the risk of disability. The study linked poor food quality to nearly 11 million deaths worldwide in 2017, translating into 22 percent of all deaths among adults that year.
The lead author of the study said that it was not just a matter of people eating too much junk food, which is common in rich countries like the US.
These studies show how important it is to manage your health. You can begin to significantly reduce your risk of dementia and other chronic illnesses by making simple, daily decisions that put your well-being first.
Your diet, stress management, exposure to toxins, exercise and choosing to engage in social activities make you a successful engineer. Go ahead and add walnuts and fruit to that salad and other vegetables to that salmon burger for lunch, and you’ll be building a solid genetic foundation before you know it.
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