People who eat homemade lunches and dinners for most of the week may be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who get most of their meals from restaurants, according to new findings from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The researchers also found that people who ate more homemade meals put on less weight during the study period, which could in part explain the association.
The study was published July 5 in PLOS Medicine.
The researchers analyzed health and dietary data from nearly 100,000 male and female U.S. health professionals who were followed for more than 20 years. They found that people who ate 11–14 homemade lunches or dinners per week had a 14 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes during the study period than those who ate six or fewer weekly homemade meals. People who ate more homemade meals ate more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and consumed less soda, according to the study.
The researchers did not look at whether home cooks were eating meals made from scratch or from processed ingredients.
Researcher Dr. Geng Zong, lead author of the study, told The Daily Mail, “Cooking from scratch should be a better option, and highly encouraged.”