I am especially moved to discuss this issue today because I recently had a conversation with a Medical Doctor friend of mine who we constantly debate over the power of wholistic nutrition. We will just call him Dr. Bill.
Dr. Bill has hypertension and high cholesterol and is overweight, not obese, but overweight by about 30lbs. He is on blood pressure medication and medication for high cholesterol. His diet is less than desirable, and he does not work out at all. Our conversation was centered around his “predisposition” to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. His father died of cardiovascular disease in his early 60’s. He was 100% sold on the idea that because his father died of cardiovascular disease that his current condition is because he genetically inherited this from his father.
This is a Medical Doctor who has been in the medical field for 15+ years. He was clearly in denial and avoided his own accountability for the lifestyle choices he has made for himself. After much debate I finally made a deal with him. If he would agree to go plant based for 3 months and allow me to work with him nutritionally and we are able to lower and regulate his blood pressure through nutrition as well as lower his cholesterol, then he must pay for 5 rounds of golf (I am an avid golfer). If I am wrong and it doesn’t work, then I owe him. I am very confident he will be paying for 5 rounds of golf! Why? Because I have experienced a 100% success rate for those clients that have actually made major changes in their lifestyle to support a healthy diet and active lifestyle.
So, lets clear up a few things. Predisposition to any disease does not mean you will get it. Especially when it comes to cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes. These conditions are primarily lifestyle conditions. Meaning the choices, we make when it comes to nutrition, living an active lifestyle as well as maintaining a healthy stress level. Type 1 diabetes can be genetic however Type 2 Diabetes is a condition brought on by poor nutritional choices. Poor nutritional choices in combination with a sedentary lifestyle and high stress levels are the primary reason people suffer from heart disease and a large percentage of people with heart disease tend to be overweight. There are exceptions of course. We have all heard of that guy who works out 5 days a week, runs marathons and all the sudden dies of a heart attack. That is rare but when it does happen, looking back into his history nutritionally often exposes years of unhealthy food choices before he decided to get healthy or still may not be making the wisest choices nutritionally but works it off at the gym. Not every time but most of the time this is the case.
So be assured that you are not destine to have cardiovascular disease just because a family member did or does. Do a little research and investigate what kind of lifestyle and nutritional choices did that family member make. In the 50’s and 60’s smoking was very common and there was a lack of education on the devasting effects of smoking. Smoking is a clear pathway to cardiovascular disease. Combine that with unhealthy food choices, that family member did not stand a chance. Then as we move forward in time, never in history was there a time like the present where there is so much information available on the benefits of eating a healthy diet as well as the devastation to a person’s health when making poor lifestyle choices. You can work out all day long but if you are eating an unhealthy diet or indulging in too much alcohol, smoke, or have an abnormal stress level, working out every day will not help you. Look back on what kind of foods and lifestyle choices your family members made, and you will have more of an understanding why your family member has/had cardiovascular disease. You can avoid being at risk by making the right choices for your body. Please feel free to share your story and I would be happy to provide any information that may clarify how you can avoid being a victim to heart disease, high cholesterol, or Type 2 Diabetes. Good health to you!