For the most part, we follow our own paths when it comes to our diet. We choose how healthy we are and when it’s the right time to treat ourselves.
However, it can’t be denied that we’re shaped by our family too. In fact, more so than you’d think.
With more and more people switching to health foods, not to mention parents thinking about their children’s health more, we take a look at just how your family history can have huge sway on how you eat…
Hereditary Illness/Family Traits
One of the main reasons people take DNA tests and research their ancestry is to find out about any illnesses family members have had that could be passed on.
For many that obviously begs the question how does ancestry DNA testing work and how can it help shape your diet?
You can take one relatively easy these days, with many available online. Scientists will then match your DNA and you can discover all you need to know about your family.
That includes any history of certain illnesses, which could then help influence your diet.
For example, if your family has a history of heart disease and high blood pressure, then it could also be a risk to you and adapting your diet accordingly can help reduce that risk.
That can be done by eating more vegetables, consuming less alcohol and exercising regularly. It’s estimated that over 50,000 adults have a genetic risk of heart disease, and if found in your family could be the kick-start you need to eat that little bit healthier.
Of course, there are many other diseases and illnesses which can be combated by a healthy lifestyle. A history of addiction is always worth uncovering and can be dealt with early enough in life to ensure you don’t go down the same path.
A little closer to home is a parental influence on diet. Naturally for the first years of your life, you’re fed by parents with your eating behaviour exclusively decided by them.
From a child’s time in the whom a mother can be highly influential in their child’s future diet.
Flavours can be found in the amniotic fluid which then sees a more positive reaction when introduced to those flavours during a feed.
Introductions to flavours and the right types of food is vital in early stages of life. Research shows that shortly after birth, babies have a preference for sweet treats, with salty flavours more apparent at the four month stage. Introducing the right foods at these stages will help dictate a child’s palette and ultimately mean they’re less “fussy” in later life.
It’s believed that rejection of foods comes from the social setting and atmosphere rather than taste, in many cases anyway, and if tried again in a different environment, you could get a completely different reaction from your child.
A parents influence is huge in how we consume the right diet as that transition into adulthood will generally see a consistency. That combined with hereditary and historic family traits shows how much we are and should be influenced by our previous generations.