Combat Diabetes With a Healthy Home Cooked Meal

As a nation, we consume nearly our entire weight in sugar each year. Kind of crazy when you think about it right? That’s because a surprising variety of food items contain sugar nowadays. This is an important subject to discuss during National Diabetes Month. While sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it can indirectly trigger it.

Diabetic chooses to skip on the sugary drinks

There are a variety of sugar-free options out there, but one of the best things you can do is cook more meals at home. It’s a simple solution that could help lower your risk of diabetes.

The Diabetes Epidemic in America

Obesity or even being overweight has been identified as a trigger for type 2 diabetes. This is the type of diabetes that accounts for 90 percent of the nearly 30 million diagnosed cases in America.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is often the result of mounting insulin resistance. A poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight put a lot of excess stress on the insulin-producing beta cells. Eventually, they can’t produce enough insulin to meet the body’s demands. This causes blood glucose levels to rise above healthy levels.

Researchers at the American Heart Association in Orlando report that cooking more meals at home is an effective way to prevent obesity and diabetes.

Long Term Effect of Eating Out More Often

Geng Zong of Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health recently conducted a study looking at the effects of eating out more versus eating in more. Previous research had shown that eating out was associated with a lower diet quality and higher obesity in young adolescents, but they wanted to see if the same remained true for older adults.

Family making a healthy home cooked meal

Many restaurants and fast food chains have come to rely heavily on processed ingredients and unhealthy fats. Zong and his team analyzed data from the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study– these had information on the lunch and dinner habits of 99,000 men and women for the last 30 years.

Their analysis showed that people who ate two of their meals at home per day exhibited a 13 percent lower risk of developing diabetes than people who ate less than six homemade meals a week.

Not surprisingly, the data showed that people who cooked more of their own meals gained less weight over the three decade long study period. Zong’s team also suggested that people who ate out less probably drank fewer sugar-sweetened beverages over that time period. These are important factors explaining the lower rates of insulin resistance and diabetes in this group.

Stop Diabetes in It’s Tracks

These findings suggest that more homemade meals could play an important role in lowering your risk of diabetes. Busy schedules can make this difficult, but there are ways to remain healthy when you eat out. However, we recommend resisting the convenience of fast food when possible too.

(This meal plan from the American Diabetes Association can help you keep your blood sugar, weight and cholesterol in a healthy range.)

At the same time, a home cooked meal can also be unhealthy depending on the ingredients you use. Get proactive about your cooking this November and you could stop diabetes right in its tracks.



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