3. How big a role does genetics play in my lifespan? A number of us have done studies with twins. If genes were the master determinant, twins would die on the same day of the same disease. Genetics determine about 15 percent of the difference in longevity between people. So genes matter a little bit but not very much. It ain't the cards you're dealt; it's how you play the hand.
4. What eating habits are associated with long life? It's the standard high plant food, low animal fat emphasis. Mediterranean diets that are high in fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil have been shown to be better for lifespan than, say, meat-heavy diets. The National Cancer Institute found that people who eat lots of red and processed meat have a higher risk of death, especially from heart disease and cancer, than those who eat little meat.
5. Are there drugs or supplements I can take to live longer? There's no