My Health History
Changing my way of eating had a lot to do with my health history –– my genetic predisposition toward disease per se. My health history is rife with heart disease, cancer and diabetes. You can read more here about Why I became Vegan.
My mother is one of ten children. Nine of her siblings either have or had heart disease, cancer and or diabetes. Her mother, my grandmother, woke up one morning blind as a result of diabetes. Just like that. Overnight. Blind. Many of my aunts and uncles had peripheral neuropathy (nerve weakness in their legs which rendered walking difficult), and one of my uncles in his eighties had a leg amputated as a result of diabetes. My mother had heart by-pass in her eighties and began to exhibit sugar problems in her nineties. So ten of ten in ill health in their later years. Count their parents, my grandparents and the number is 12 of 12.
My mother is 101 and also has severe dementia, a result of mini strokes as a result of clogged arteries to the brain, which to a large extent is a result of the food we put into our bodies. With the proper diet, these arteries do not have to get clogged.
Genetics really play only a small portion in the equation. If you have the genetics and predisposition for certain diseases and continue to eat the Standard American Diet, chances are great that you will succumb to many of the same diseases that your ancestors had. If you change your way of eating, chances are also very good that you will remain healthy.
All that said, some people eat well and are sick. Others have horrible diets and are healthy. I really didn’t want to take a chance, so my decision to change my lifestyle was to give myself a better chance at good health.
Eliminating a good deal of the saturated fat and sugar and processed foods that inundate our diets, even though we may have a genetic predisposition toward a particular disease, gives us a much better chance at healthy living. Naturally, there are no guarantees in life, but I wanted to increase the odds that by becoming vegan and by eating plant-based foods, I would hopefully not get the same diseases that have been in my family.
According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell in The China Study, Genes do not determine disease on their own. Genes function only by being activated, or expressed, and nutrition plays a critical role in determining which genes, good and bad, are expressed. Please read that again.
Research also shows that the diseases of people of the same ethnicity vary enormously depending on where they live. If they stay in their own country and eat their cultural foods they maintain the status quo. If they, for example, move to the United States and give up the cultural foods native to their country and upbringing, and instead assume the Standard American Diet, they also take on the diseases to which the Americans fall prey.
Their genes have not changed and yet they assume the diseases that many of their American counterparts assume. I think this is absolutely HUGE. This is only one of the many reasons to become vegan. Studies show that it is “biologically impossible” to blame the problem on genes. You can’t change your genes but you can certainly change what activates them.
You CAN Change Your Health Outcome
There are many doctors who not only prevent certain diseases and ailments that plague our society with their protocol, but also reverse them by using and advocating certain foods over others and suggesting to their patients that they adopt a new lifestyle if they want to become and stay well.
I am not a doctor and do not do studies. But I have done a lot of research and I have heard a ton of testimonies to add credence to my beliefs. Heart disease is just one of the many diseases that is reversible. Yes I said reversible.
OLD AGE AND SICKNESS DO NOT HAVE TO GO HAND IN HAND. In fact, Dr. John McDougall states, “Our arteries are not cement. They are tissue and given the right foods, the tissue heals.”
If there is something other than medicines and chemo, like food, why wouldn’t we all just gravitate toward it? Some doctors actually admit they don’t tell their patients about changing their diet and lifestyle because they feel the vast majority wouldn’t go along with it anyway. Perhaps the decision should be left to the patient. Even if only one in a hundred changed and became healthy as a result of becoming vegan, it would be well worth it!