We need to start Cooking again! Cooking means to eat better, and, consequently, less! Don’t be scared! Like they say in the movie Ratatouille: “Anyone can cook”! You don’t need to be a 5-star chef. Basic and simple recipes are at anyone’s reach.

Learn to cook and start enjoying it. It’s contagious and, what’s best, is that it’s a preventive tool against obesity. Cooking promotes a more balanced diet, whether at home or even outside: who cooks tends to make healthier choices in restaurants!

People who cook at home have a healthier diet”, says an initial study of John Hopkins University that was published in November 2014 in the Public Health Nutrition journal. Those who cook are almost sure to have a balanced diet and a healthier lifestyle: less calories, more varied foods, and the ingestion of adequate and less processed nutrients.

Researchers evaluated more than 9.000 meals prepared at home. In average, homemade meals contain more vegetables, less carbohydrates, and less fat than any other meal. But that’s not all, people who cook more often, 5 or 6 times a week, also eat more regularly and consume less calories when they eat “out”, at restaurants or at a friend’s house. They also go less often to fast food chains.

According to Julia A. Wolfson, the main author of the study, these conclusions apply even when the person who is cooking isn’t trying to lose weight.

A new study at Harvard School of Public Health (Boston), that was published in November 2015, reinforces the conclusions of John Hopkins University’s research. It observes that having meals at home diminishes the risk of obesity and also of type 2 diabetes.

The results, presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) annual meeting, confirm the harmful effects of fast food and processed foods, especially in terms of metabolic disease.

These results come from the data analysis of almost 58.000 women and 41.000 men. The participants were accompanied for 36 years. None of the participants had diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the beginning of the research.

The association between ultra-processed foods and obesity has already been publicized in 2014 by Professor Carlos Monteiro’s group, of the Department of Nutrition of the Public Health School of the University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil. They found that the greater availability at home of ultra-processed foods is clearly associated to a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity in all age groups.

Professor Monteiro coordinated the new Brazilian Food Guide published by the Ministry of Health, which has been praised worldwide as a revolution in the way we look at food. It incentivizes the act of cooking and eating more in-natura foods and less processed foods.

So, let’s start cooking?

Bon appétit!

Sophie

 

References:
Eating more homemade meals may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/aha-emh103015.php

 

Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight loss intention?
https://apha.confex.com/apha/142am/webprogram/Paper303684.html

 

Ultra-Processed Food Products and Obesity in Brazilian Households (2008–2009)
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0092752

 

Brazil has the best nutritional guidelines in the world
http://www.vox.com/2015/2/20/8076961/brazil-food-guide