The secret of a longer life has been revealed. And it’s not what you think it is. It doesn’t matter how wealthy you are or how many times you hit the gym, what matters is how often you eat cooked food.
Don’t believe us? Well a 10-year study published in Public Health Nutrition links frequent cooking to a longer life.
Scientist studied a group of Taiwanese people aged 65 and over. Just under half of those people never cooked, 17 per cent cooked 1–2 times a week, 9 per cent cooked 3–5 times a week and 31 per cent cooked up to 5 times a week.
During the 10 year study, 695 of the group died. Of those who were still alive were the ones who cooked the most. All other variables were removed.
The unmarried women who lived and ate alone, had not been highly educated, were non-drinkers and non-smokers, got around by public transport, walking and cycling, and shopped more than once a week.
Along with cooking more frequently, these women also reported enjoying a better, more nutritious diet than others in the study, with diets high in fibre, vitamin C and low in cholesterol.
Women who cooked for a spouse or other family members also lived longer. Men were more likely never to cook or to cook infrequently. They were also more likely to die at a younger age.
Prof Mark Wahlqvist, who works in international health and nutrition, said “it has become clear that cooking is a healthy behaviour. It deserves a place in life-long education, public health policy, urban planning and household economics. 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”.