New research published in the recent issue of the journal Public Health Nutrition found significant health benefits could exist for people who prepare home-cooked meals at least five times per week, pointing to a noteworthy connection between not just what we eat, but whether or not we’re actively participating in the process.
The ten-year study, titled “Cooking frequency may enhance survival in Taiwanese elderly,” was conducted by an Australian and Taiwanese research team partnership and included the participation of nearly 2,000 individuals over age 65 located in the Taiwan area.
Of the participants, 31 percent reportedly prepared meals at home at least five times per week, 17 percent cooked two times per week at most, 9 percent cooked at home three to five times per week, and nearly half (43 percent) reported that they never cooked at home. When researchers followed up after ten years, they found that of the participants who did not die during the time period, frequent cooking was a significant factor in their health and longevity. Women, who typically do most of the cooking in Taiwan, were reported to live longer than men.
Home prepared meals often contain fresher fruits and vegetables and use less sodium, artificial ingredients or unhealthy trans fats in preparation.
The study news comes on the heels of another report showing that 96 percent of American family-style restaurants exceed the USDA recommendations for saturated fat and sodium on most menu items, both of which have been linked to serious health risks including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and hypertension.
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Image: Dinner Series