Dr. Mehmet Oz says you have more control over how you age than you realize, and said simple steps can help you look and feel your best at every stage of your life.
Dr. Oz revealed his anti-aging secrets in an update to his book "You: The Owner's Manual," which was excerpted on the Today Show website.
"You control more than 70 percent of how well and how long you live," said the "Dr. Oz Show" host.
"By the time you reach 50, your lifestyle dictates 80 percent of how you age; the rest is controlled by inherited genetics. But you can even change which of your genes is on or off."
Dr. Oz said working out regularly and following a healthy diet that's low in sugar, refined carbs and processed foods dramatically improves your health by curbing inflammation, which fuels cellular damage.
Eating a diet high in leafy green vegetables, healthy fats such as olive oil and salmon, and limiting sugar and processed junk foods automatically fuels weight loss because you feel satiated and therefore won't feel the need to overeat.
Meanwhile, eating refined carbs and sugar leads to dramatic blood-sugar spikes, which make you hungrier and want to eat more.
Dr. Oz also said you should get your nutrients from food — not from vitamin supplements — in light of new studies indicating that vitamins are useless.
Regular exercise is also a fountain of youth because physical activity turns on the genes in your body that inhibit aging and disease.
"It isn’t just that exercise makes you look more like Brad Pitt, or that you become fitter than Beyonce," said Dr. Oz. "It’s that exercise changes which of your genes are on or off."
Studies show that a 10- or 15-minute walk can dramatically reduce the post-meal insulin spikes that fuel inflammation and weight gain. If you can't go for a walk, simply standing instead of sitting makes a huge difference in your health. If you do have to sit, getting up every 15 minutes incurs big health benefits.
Dr. Oz said reducing belly fat significantly lowers your risks of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The reason you need to be especially vigilant about belly fat is because the fat around the abdomen, which is called the omentum, can wreak havoc on vital organs.
"When you've got a lot of belly fat, that fat does three things: It puts pressure on your kidneys, which generates high blood pressure. It poisons your liver, which causes your blood to look like it's got cream in it. And it gets your cholesterol up off the wall. And that fat ultimately paralyzes insulin, and you get diabetes."
While many people think getting old is synonymous with getting weak and sick, Dr. Oz said this absolutely does not have to be the case if you don't smoke, don't drink to excess, eat well, and limit stress.
"A fifty-year-old who douses her lungs with nicotine and builds her food pyramid with chopped liver and sausage actually may have the body of a sixty-five-year-old because of the destruction she’s doing," said Dr. Oz.
"[In contrast] a fifty-year-old who eats well, stays away from toxins, and takes care of her body with moderate physical activity could have the body and health of a thirty-six-year-old."