As I pointed out in a prior blog entry entitled "Exercise & Eat Fruits & Veggies All You Want: You're Still Going to Die," the belief that you are going to be able to eat your way to a long wife with healthy foods and that you will die early for eating unhealthy foods does not always hold true. This is likely because genetics plays a major role in determining whether certain abnormal health conditions will develop that can lead to death. This does not mean that the types of food you consume play no role in your health. But food choices likely interact with genetics to determine risk. If your genetics are strong enough, traditional health guidelines regarding food selection may not apply to you. Also, if your genetics are poor, what you eat may not matter much at all.
In the blog entry noted above, I discussed the death of fitness guru Jack LaLane, who lived to 96 after a life filled with exercise and healthy food. Many cite that lifestyle as the reason for his long life but as I pointed out, there was likely a genetic component to this since his mother lived to age 89. To be fair, if people are going to use Jack LaLane as a model for how lifestyle choices can lead to a long life, they need to account for another case as well…that of Margaret Moores.
Who is Margaret Moores you ask? Well, she outlived Jack LaLane by 10 years, living to age 106 based on a diet consisting largely of pizza, French fries, sweets, salt beef, and very little water. Apparently, the only medication she takes is Tylenol for arthritis. Other favorite and preferred foods of people known to live over age 100 includes bacon, coffee, red wine, dumplings, chocolate, and honey. To read more, see this article at The Huffington Post. I’m not saying to go out and have a diet consisting largely of these foods, but the point is that traditional health guidelines regarding food clearly do not apply to everyone equally.