Eating homecooked meals will not only help save money, it will also help provide better health. A new study reveals that homecooking decreases a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Medical Daily reported.
"The trend for eating commercially prepared meals in restaurants or as take-out in the United States has increased significantly over the last 50 years," Geng Zong, research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a news release. "At the same time, type 2 diabetes rates have also increased."
The study, which was presented Nov. 8 at the annual American Heart Association meeting held in Orlando, Fla., investigated eating patterns (excluding breakfast) of about 58,000 women from the Nurses' Health Study and over 41,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1986 to 2012.
The researchers found that those who ate homecooked lunches and dinners, which comprised about 11 to 14 of their total meals in a week, reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 13 percent compared to those who ate less than six homecooked lunches or dinners each week. The researchers also observed that those who ate at home were leaner compared to those who ate out frequently.
They concluded that people who ate out had poorer diets and a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. However, those who ate meals cooked at home decreased their chances of developing - not just type 2 diabetes - but also other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The study was not able to give a cause-and-effect relationship between eating homecooked meals vs. eating out and diabetes. Zong said more studies are needed.
"Most important of all, even if meals prepared at home may have better diet quality, it does not mean people can eat without limits in amounts," Zong told HealthDay. Keeping a balance between food intake and physical activity remains essential for maintaining body weight and health."
To promote home cooking, the association provided an online resource, Simple Cooking with Heart, for simple and healthy home cooked meals. The site gives other helpful information like cooking techniques and food safety.