CAMBRIDGE (CBS) — Cooking more meals at home might lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

Harvard University researchers say that making a meal yourself instead of eating at restaurants or ordering take-out could be linked to less weight gain over time, which may lead to a lower diabetes risk.

“People who ate about two homemade lunches or dinners each day — or about 11-14 meals a week — had a 13 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to people who ate less than six homemade lunches or dinners a week,” the American Heart Association said in a statement. “Type 2 diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease.”

The researchers looked at statistics from nearly 58,000 women and 41,000 men.

“The trend for eating commercially prepared meals in restaurants or as take-out in the United States has increased significantly over the last 50 years,” Harvard research fellow Geng Zong told the AHA. “At the same time, Type 2 diabetes rates have also increased.”

Past studies have found that eating out more often can lead to a worse diet and weight gain. Being overweight is a risk factor for both heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, the AHA says.

The study doesn’t say exactly how many times a week people should be making homemade meals, but researchers say more is better.

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