Study authors reported that volunteers who reportedly ate two home-cooked lunches or dinners on a daily basis saw their risk of developing type 2 diabetes trimmed by 13 percent. There was also a control group with people who consumed less than six home-cooked meals per week.
Researchers argued that the improvement saw in diabetes risk is linked to a lower risk of becoming overweight for people who cook their meals themselves. Overweight and obesity were often linked to a high risk of diabetes by past research.
When people opt for homemade meals they are less likely to eat extra sugary, fatty or processed foods.
In the U.S., the number people with diabetes more than doubled since the mid-90s. Diabetes is a risk factor in a series of conditions including heart disease and stroke. Diabetes is also tied to a higher risk of becoming blind or losing one’s limbs through amputation.
The recent findings were based on data on more than 100,000 people who were monitored for 36 years. Participants reported what types of lunches and dinners they had, and their risk of diabetes was assessed by looking at their medical records.
The study analyzed eating behavior of about 58,000 women and over 40,000 men. None of these people were diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease when the study started. Nevertheless, researchers didn’t have any data on these participants’ breakfast, so they ha to limit their research only to their lunch and dinner.
The findings are consistent with past studies which had showed that dinning out, or eating takeaways or fast-food, are not only poor in nutritional value, but they may also boost risk of obesity in children and teens.
The recent study also revealed that home-cooked meals were linked to lower weight gain in middle-aged participants over the course of nearly a decade. Overweight and obesity are often tied to higher risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Dr Geng Zong, co-author of the recent study and nutrition expert with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, argued that as people started to eat more at fast-food restaurants or opt for take-out, the risk of type 2 diabetes also increased.
While researchers couldn’t tell how many home-cooked dishes people should eat to decrease their diabetes risk, Dr. Zong believes that the more the better.
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