Eating Meals at Home Can Help Decrease Diabetes Risk
If you frequently eat meals out, you may want to reconsider your dining choices and make dinner at home instead.
New research has shown a direct link between dining out and type 2 diabetes risk. And it’s no surprise why: dining out often leads to weight gain and a poor quality diet, which are major diabetes risk factors.
Researchers out of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at over 20 years of data from the United States, where men and women reported the frequency they ate meals prepared at home. They found people who ate 11 to 14 home-cooked meals per week had a 14 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who ate up to six home-cooked meals per week.
Dining out has become a common part of life in many cultures, and as the industry grows, so too do the portion sizes. People are eating much larger meals than ever before, often without even realizing it.
Add to that the prevalence and ease of fast food, especially in the U.S., and it’s easy to see why dining out and weight gain are intrinsically linked.
According to the study, 35, 28, and 61 percent of American adults ate daily in fast-food restaurants, full-service restaurants, and non-restaurant sources away from home, respectively. This staggering number shows just how often people are consuming high calorie, high fat, and low nutrient foods.
Cooking more meals at home means knowing exactly what you are consuming. Rather than high-fat filler foods that lack nutritional value, you control what you’re eating and how much of it.
Overall, this lowers your risk of gaining weight and developing type 2 diabetes as a result. Other risk factors to avoid are:
- Physical inactivity
- High blood pressure
- Being overweight
If you have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and especially if you cut back on dining out and start cooking your own meals. You can’t reverse your diabetes, but you can eliminate as many risks as you can to keep your condition well managed.
If you haven’t been diagnosed but you’re concerned about your type 2 diabetes risk, heed this warning as well. Start cooking more meals at home, where you can monitor what you take in and keep portions in check.