The other day I was promoting my holistic clinic at a local health event. I was quite amazed and even amused by a particularly rotund gentleman who sashayed his way over to me. Coke and bag of greasy potato chips in hand, he proceeded to tell me about how Diabetes ran in his family and how it was a genetic trait - his mother and his grandfather before him were Diabetic and had both died of its complications. Of course, there wasn't enough time for me to explain to him that these so called "inherited diseases" are really not necessarily so.

Furthermore, I was astonished when I commented to him that proper nutrition was the basis of good health and, all he could muster was "Ain't that the truth" (while chomping on his chips).

What we choose to eat and drink is chemical information that programs our cells at the profoundest of level. At the DNA level, chemicals in our food send signals into the nucleus of our cells telling it which amino-acids and proteins to provide the code for. These in turn, build the different chemicals and enzymes that have a myriad of functions - one of which is to trigger the exposure of a specific area on the DNA strand. A specific area on the DNA strand is termed a Gene.

This exposure (or non-exposure) of genetic material is what is also termed epi-genetics. In other words, our genes contain the blueprint of everything the body needs internally to support life. This genetic information can become defective due to inherited components or from external assault (Coke and chips). Although a particular individual may carry a genetic trait which predisposes him/her to a certain disease, the revelation of this defective section of DNA is not assured.

This defective gene may lie dormant for the individual's entire life - or not. What determines this? More than anything else, nutrition. The quality, quantity and combinations of foods will trump all else to determine which disease genes get "turned on".

So this, is what I did not have time to tell this gentleman at the health fair who wanted a quick and dirty answer to why he was so unhealthy. You truly are what you eat.

Author's Bio: 

Gloria Moreira, L.Ac., ABAAHP is a board certified Anti-Aging Medicine specialist with a Master's in Metabolic Nutrition from University of Florida School of Medicine. She is also a licensed acupuncture physician in the state of Florida where she practices naturopathic medicine modalities in her holistic Miami clinic.