Does Family History Of Diabetes Mean That I Will Inherit It Too?

A person is at risk of getting diabetes if s/he has family history of it. But the chances of getting diabetes depend on the person’s lifestyle and several other risk factors. Read here to know.

Diabetes risks depends on factos like diet, lifestyle and level of physical activity


Maintain a healthy weight to prevent diabetes

Consume a healthy diet lots of fruits and vegetables

Avoid eating meals that contain only refined carbs

Diabetes is largely considered to be inherited, if our parents or anyone in our direct family has diabetes, there is a great possibility that you may inherit it.If you keep eating what your parents and grandparents ate, there is a good chance you will inherit their diabetes. The lifestyle you have so unknowingly inherited from your parents is making you ask this question! Let us get a few facts clear first. Research says that genetics account for 20% of lifestyle disorders, the rest is down to your lifestyle and the environment, of which lifestyle dominates at around 70%.

Will I Inherit diabetes?

Having said that when we speak of type 2 diabetes, it is a lifestyle disorder (Type 1 diabetes is the result of a genetic defect and really has no natural cure for it). We call it a lifestyle disorder because it occurs as a result of what you eat, what you think, how you sleep, if you are active, what you do, basically a culmination of your day to day activities. This means, if you alter your lifestyle, there is a 70% chance that you will not inherit diabetes. Seems like a fair deal doesn’t it? But you should know where you go wrong, and before diving deeper, be rest assured that your diet alone can have an alarming effect on type 2 diabetes.

Also read: Five Effective Ways To Manage Diabetes When Suffering From Kidney Disease

We fall prey to the whole genetics and mass psychology trap. We have been made to believe that we will inherit diabetes and other related disorders like cardiovascular disease and cancer just because our elders had them. Well, you do have a similar genetic structure, but you can definitely improve your knowledge on the subject of nutrition and how food forms the very essence of longevity. To take an example here, the whole claim of consuming more animal-based proteins to reduce weight and manage diabetes better is false. The science and research do not back this up 1. While it may give you short terms results, in the long term it proves to be highly detrimental.

We would often see that parents who do not exercise much have the same effect on their kids (ofcourse there will be exceptions from one generation to the other), and similarly if they enjoy junk food, so does the offspring. It is these habits that are being referred to. Also, it is important to note that there is a group of parents who are very health conscious, but is their knowledge on the subject sufficient to ensure that they kids do not inherit diabetes? Sadly, that is not the case. Today, what the food industry deems as healthy, actually isn’t. How are we able to consume more and more packaged foods today? Why is the size of the fruit and vegetable corner at the supermarket reducing in size? Well, they don’t want us to stay healthy 2. They have been fooling us for decades and we have ended up implementing it all without verifying the facts. This is called mass psychology and modern-day marketing folks. We humans tend to get swayed easily. An advertisement with an elite athlete showcasing a new protein rich snack is released and it has us all running to buy it.

Also read: Can Weight Loss Help You Control Blood Sugar Levels? Here’s The Link Between Weight Loss And Diabetes

Open your minds and think for yourself for once. Do your research and listen to your body. Our bodies are designed to heal and repair themselves. Diabetes is just an abnormality that can be a thing of the past. There is enough evidence published that people who consume a predominantly vegetarian diet 3 and very little to none of animal-based produce, have shown greater improvement and resilience to health issues like diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disorders 4. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, cereals, nuts & seeds has been proven to promote healthier body weight and BMI, greater insulin sensitivity and hormonal balance.

Before concluding, there has to be a mention that the right kind of natural, plant-based vitamins and supplements should be consumed for preventing/reversing diabetes, and on the whole to maintain longevity and stay clear of any other lifestyle disorders 5. We often fail to realize the power our food possesses. When consumed in the concentrated form, it can have miraculous results in the body 6.

And the answer is NO, you will not inherit diabetes provided you do not blindly follow a lifestyle that has been inherited or falsely created by the food industry. Eat scientifically correct food, get enough sleep, keep moving and stay happy!

Following a healthy lifestyle can help in reducing the risk of diabetes
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Diabetes Risk Factors: These 5 Factors Can Increase Your Risk Of Diabetes


1. C Xiao, A Giacca, A Carpentier, G F Lewis. Differential effects of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat ingestion on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, sensitivity and clearance in overweight and obese, non-diabetic humans. Diabetologia. 2006 Jun;49(6):1371-9.

2. Zimmerman FJ. Using marketing muscle to sell fat: the rise of obesity in the modern economy. Annu Rev Public Health. 2011; 32:285-306.

3. R. Vegetarian Diets in the Prevention and Management of Diabetes and Its Complications. Diabetes Spectr. 2017;30(2):82-88.

4. Wright N, Wilson L, Smith M, Duncan B, Mchugh P. The BROAD study: A randomised controlled trial using a whole food plant-based diet in the community for obesity, ischaemic heart disease or diabetes. Nutr Diabetes. 2017;7(3):e256.

5. Beaudart C, Buckinx F, Rabenda V, Gillain S, Cavalier E, Slomian J, Petermans J, Reginster JY, Bruyere O. The effects of vitamin D on skeletal muscle strength, muscle mass, and muscle power: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J ClinEndocrinolMetab. 2014 Nov;99(11):4336-45.

6. W Stonehouse, C A Conlon, J Podd, S R Hill, A M Minihane, C Haskell, D Kennedy. DHA supplementation improved both memory and reaction time in healthy young adults: a randomized controlled trial. Am J ClinNutr. 2013 May;97(5):1134-43.


(Vaibhav Garg, Clinical & Sports Nutritionist and Founder, Purecise)

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