A simple – and inexpensive - reducing diabetes risk to is to make more meals at home from scratch.

Eat at home to (possibly) reduce type 2 diabetes

Eating out in restaurants or picking up a meal to bring home is a little bit of a national pastime. We love it for many reasons - it keeps us out of our own kitchen, it makes it easy at the end of a long busy day, and we don’t seem to mind spending the money.

According to the Commerce Department, sales at restaurants and bars is almost equal to what we spend in the grocery store on food to prepare at home - about $709 billion per year is spent in restaurants.

An interesting study looked at health and home cooking. The bottom line is that we may want to do more food prep at home.

From the study: 

  • When 11 to 14 lunches or dinners per week were made at home from scratch, there was a slightly lower risk for type 2 diabetes. 
  • When 5 to 7 lunches per week were prepped at home, there was a lower type 2 diabetes risk.

In a previous 2012 study, researchers found that children and teens who eat out lots have an overall daily diet that is poor in nutritional content. And that could mean health issues as they grow up.    

With over 25 million people who already have type 2 diabetes, and over 85 million with pre-diabetes and headed to type 2 diabetes, anything that we can do to prevent this chronic disease is a very good thing. And a simple –and inexpensive- solution is to make more meals at home from scratch.

For lunch make sandwiches such as peanut butter, tuna or chicken salad on whole-grain breads or wraps and then add seasonal fruit to round out the meal.

Make use of your slow cooker to have dinner ingredients cook while you are at work all day. Just add a side salad before serving that delicious hot meal.  Soups, spaghetti sauce and chili, stews, casseroles, and barbeque all work well with this cooking method.

Be sure to make a double batch of just about every dinner entrée so that you have an easy meal on another night from the leftovers. For example, pork tenderloin tonight and pork BBQ tomorrow. Spaghetti and meatballs tonight, meatball subs tomorrow.

Recipes to Try:


About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.