Cook At Home If You Want To Live Longer
It is what your grandmother and mother did before you and it is what, perhaps, you are not doing at all; what with your busy lives, speeding careers, and too many responsibilities. But here is the final warning – cooking at home will increase your life span. In other words, if you want to live longer, cook at home, period.
1) Home Cooking is the Best
Cooking at home with fresh, healthy, and seasonal ingredients is a sure-shot way to longevity and this has been proven in a recent study carried out by a team of researchers from Australia and Taiwan. Your mom was probably right when she advised you to eat at home instead of heading out every night to dine in hotels, restaurants, roadside cafes, and pubs. But did you listen to her? Probably not! But we hope you will listen to what the study has to say. It may just add some years to your life.
2) The Study
The study, conducted by a team of Taiwanese and Australian researchers, concludes that people who eat home-cooked food five times a week are 47% more likely to live for another decade than those who don’t eat home cooked food that many times a week. The study was conducted over a span of 10 years upon a group of 1,888 men and women, all aged 65 and above and living in Taiwan. At the beginning of this study, the participants were asked questions regarding their lifestyle habits like cooking, shopping, diet, education, and smoking, etc. In the initial survey, 43% of participants told the researchers that they had never cooked at home. About 31% of participants cooked at home five or more times a week while just 17% cooked only once or twice a week. A minuscule number of participants (9%) cooked at home three to five times a week, which is an ideal percentage as far as the researchers are concerned.
3) Follow-Up Study
The follow-up happened after a decade, when the researchers went back to the participants. Only 1,193 participants out of 1,888 were found alive so the researchers set about matching the lifestyle answers of the survivors. Some of the replies like “shopping, not smoking, and taking public transport” were common among the surviving participants. However, the more common was cooking frequently at home. Lead author of the study, Professor Mark Wahlqvist, explains it, “It has become clear that cooking is a healthy behavior. It deserve a place in life-long education, public health policy, urban planning, and household economics.”
The study, just like many others, has its own limitations in terms of the inferences, which you can draw from the conclusions. For one, it is women who outlive men, which may, again, be because women are more involved in cooking at home as compared to men. In addition, participants who indulged in performing errands like shopping, using public transport, and walking more frequently, along with cooking at home, remained healthier. Therefore, it is not home cooking alone, but home cooking along with a couple of other factors, which contributes to your longevity. Prof. Wahlqvist says, “The pathways to health that food provides are not limited to its nutrients or components, but extend to each step in the food chain, from its production, to purchase, preparation and eating, especially with others.”
There have been several books that have encouraged cooking yourself as a means to boost health and life span. One such book is “Cooking for Long Life.” It talks of “what to eat when, which foods to avoid, and much more.” You will find a lot of recipes regarding soups, salads, meats, vegetables, and desserts, to choose from among the quick tips for healthy cooking. In case you have some points to share, do write in with your comments.
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