Scientists in an emerging field of research – epigenetics – have discovered that your genes are only 15 percent of the total genetic material you get from your parents. For example, your genes give you many individualizing traits like blue eyes or brown hair.The remaining 85 percent – the epigenome – is a scaffolding of proteins that surround your DNA’s double-helix pattern. As it turns out, this “scaffolding” functions as an interface that interacts with your environment.Based on the lifestyle choices you make, the epigenome has the power to turn genes on or off, changing the way your body translates your genetic coding into the proteins that make up YOU.Furthermore, research is revealing that by making healthy choices (changing your diet, losing weight, becoming fit), your efforts can not only have a positive effect on your children but on your grandchildren as well.On the other hand, a diet of fast food and sodas will not only wreck your own health, it could predispose future generations to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.That helps to explain why so many schoolchildren suffer from high blood pressure and low HDL (good cholesterol). The poor dietary choices their parents made are coming home to roost!The key point here is that you were never a “victim” of your genetic programming. Conscious decisions to improve your health will interact with your epigenome. In turn, the proteins in your epigenome can turn off genes that would have otherwise expressed themselves as disease.Think of your genetic code as a library. You have thousands of choices, but you never check out all of the books.The epigenome interacts with your environment and your choices to determine which books to “read.”You can actually “talk” to your genes to improve your health and prevent disease.This means you no longer have to live in fear of disease – even if you have a family history of it.So don’t sit back and allow “bad genes” to ruin your health.Start developing healthy habits today, help yourself and even better, you could be influencing the health of future generations!