I have bad genetics – should I just give up?

I hear all the time about how people have bad genetics and there is nothing they can do to avoid their fates.  They are doomed. For example: “Both my parents have diabetes so why watch my diet? There is nothing I can do.” ” My dad had a heart attack at age 45, so I will too. Why bother exercising?” “Both my parents were overweight, so why even bother watching my calories? It is in my genes.” Are these people right? Are we doomed by our genes? No! Here is a great way to think about genetics. Your genes are like loading a gun with bullets. Your lifestyle though, determines whether the trigger is pulled. In other words, your genes do not completely determine your destiny. The choices we make about our lifestyle are just as important. We do not have to be our parents! By making smart decisions about our lifestyles we can avoid their fates. By watching our diets and exercising we do not have to be overweight or diabetic. By taking care of ourselves and not smoking, we can avoid heart attacks and strokes.  We do not have to pull the trigger! We do not have to be our genes. The moral of the story is:  watch your diet, exercise, and take care of your body and live a long healthy life despite what your genetics are.

Author: drjeffgreenberg

Dr Greenberg is a clinical cardiologist who specializes in preventive cardiology, nutrition, exercise, and longevity. He favors using natural methods to improving one's health.

6 thoughts on “I have bad genetics – should I just give up?”

  1. You’re right that we can minimize inherited health risks by taking care of ourselves. But its still depressing to work much harder than the people around you and enjoy yourself much less, just to stay average. Case in point, I’ve had a slow metabolism since the age of 14! No thyroid problems, just a pathetic metabolism. That means I have to live on oatmeal, chicken, and vegetables. I rarely eat restaurant food or chocolate, though I have a real sweet tooth. I spend an hour every day jogging in place. I waste so much of my time just avoiding getting fat, and miss so many of the pleasure in life. I don’t get to enjoy food, which as you know is one of the highest natural sources of endorphins. But that’s the price I pay to not disgust the women I date with a big, hairy gut. Thus the pattern in my life is compensation. All because of bad genes.

    1. John,
      I fully believe it is possible to eat healthy and fully enjoy your food. It takes a little creativity. Experiment with new fruits and vegetables. Try new methods of preparation. Try new spices. Feel free to make an appointment to discuss further if you would like.

  2. Dr. Greenberg,
    I attended your 1/17/12 presentation. I would really like to have the charts you presented that showed good foods to eat–like the one that had kale at the top of the list. I didn’t take notes because you said it was all on your website, but I can’t find them.
    Derek Mullins

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