Tucking into a home-cooked meal can make you live longer, new research says. Researchers from Monash University, the National Defence Medical Centre and the National Health Research Institute, Taiwan, found that people who cooked at home at least five times a week were 47 percent more likely to still be alive after 10 years.
The study looked at the cooking habits of Taiwanese living independently aged over 65 years. When researchers followed up 10 years later, they found of the surviving participants that frequent cooking was a significant factor in their health and long life, the journal Public Health Nutrition reported.
Of the participants, 31 percent reportedly prepared meals at home at least five times per week, 17 percent cooked no more than twice a week, nine percent cooked at home three to five times per week, while the remainder (43 percent) reported that they never cooked at home, according to a university statement. Mark Wahlqvist, emeritus professor from Monash University's Asia Pacific Health and Nutrition Centre at the Monash Asia Institute, who led the study, said those who cooked more often had a better diet.
"We found those that cooked more frequently had a better sense of nutritional knowledge than those who didn't. Cooking is an activity that requires both good mental and physical health," Wahlqvist said.
"We found that those who cooked more frequently had a better diet and more favourable nutrient densities," he said. "It is therefore possible that cooking is related to longevity through food choice and quality," added Wahlqvist.