Homemade Meals Reduce Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

If you eat meals that are mostly prepared at home, you may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions found that people who ate two homemade lunches or dinners each day had a 13 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people who ate less than six homemade meals per week.

While breakfast patterns were not taken into account for the study, the research included data on nearly 58,000 women from the Nurses' Health Study and 41,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Participants were tracked for up to 36 years.

Less weight gain over time

The body of research on eating out suggests that restaurant or fast-food diners have a poorer diet quality and higher body weight - two factors closely associated with type 2 diabetes.

“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,” said Dr. Geng Zonga, research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “At the same time, Type 2 diabetes rates have also increased.”

According to data issued by the Commerce Department earlier this year, sales at restaurants and bars are higher than grocery store spending among Americans - for the first time ever.

The current research found that eating at home was associated with less weight gain over an 8-year period in middle-age adults.

The authors didn't specify how many homemade meals per week is ideal, only that "more could be better."

Source: American Heart Association

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