Many people living a ‘healthy’ lifestyle may develop diabetes, but the key to knowing why, is to look back a little further and examine their understanding of what ‘healthy’ really means.

According to colleagues in the medical diagnostics field, this is a common issue they see over and over again. A patient informs them that they’re healthy… they lift weights or do cardio or exercise daily. Perhaps the story from other people is how they take supplements and only eat organic, lean meat. And then, when their test results return with high cholesterol and raised blood pressure, or elevated glucose levels, they’re surprised. How could it be? Me – a predisposition for diabetes? Surely not…


How is Health Measured?

The stark truth is that health is measured by diagnostic tests that cover everything from imaging through to physical examination and bloodwork. Your BMI (body mass index) will also be taken into consideration. Your health is not measured by your daily exercise routine (although exercise does carry additional benefits).


You Are What You Eat

The single most important factor in health is what you eat. Too much meat and dairy (including cheese and milk), will have a negative impact on your medical health. In addition, taking supplements is not a good lifestyle choice – it’s much better to obtain your nutrition naturally. The only exception is vitamin D and B12, as the body struggles to make enough of this on its own.

In America, The Center for Disease Control (CDC), keeps a close watch on health and mortality. When tracking the leading causes of death, nine out of ten are disease-related causes which could be changed through a good diet.

However, the majority of people refuse to see (or just don’t understand) the evidence, supported through years and years of medical studies. They prefer instead to believe that disposition towards certain disease runs in the family. How often have we heard, ‘my father died of coronary artery disease… I suppose it’ll be the same for me’. This is then concluded by the idea that there’s no point in changing their diet, as it’s inevitable.


The Part Gene Activation Plays

What this kind of viewpoint doesn’t see, is what’s called ‘gene activation’ – the fact that it takes something like diet and environment to activate a gene, in order to display the disease.

It’s an obvious conclusion to scientists – much of it based on research done on identical twins. An identical twin eating meats and dairy has a higher chance of dying of atherosclerosis and cancer than the vegan twin. In other words, if the predisposition toward disease did not involve gene activation, then all identical twins would die of exactly the same disease – but they don’t. Likewise, an identical twin living in  Beijing (a dangerous smog-zone), will almost certainly develop upper respiratory illness, while the one living in a smog-free city will not.

This is an insightful point of view, backed up by decades of medical research, which proves that diabetes does not have to ‘run’ in a family. It is controllable (and avoidable) by a good, balanced diet. Here are some guidelines to get you started from Diabetes UK.