Simple home cooking ‘extends life expectancy’

There many reasons why Swedes enjoy one of the longest average life expectancies in the world. But now Swedish researchers want to explore the theory that simple north European home cooking keeps Swedes healthy well into old age.

A new Dutch study has shown that a nutritious blend of north European home cooking is healthier than the Mediterranean diet.

Women who ate simple Dutch home cooking lived longer than women who ate more Mediterranean food, reported Svenska Dagbladet. But researchers also found that those who ate more potatoes, meat and alcohol, and less fruit and vegetables, had a lower life expectancy.

Of the 5,000 women who were studied over ten years, the death rate was 30 percent lower among those who ate healthy home cooking.

The results, which were published in the American Journal of Clincial Nutrition, are part of a wider European study of nutrition and cancer.

Alicja Wolk, professor of nutrition at the Karolinska Institute, told Svenska Dagbladet that a similar study needs to be conducted in Sweden.

“Today there is no evaluation of how Swedish home cooking influences health, but we want to do this and we have applied for a research grant. There must be something good about our food since Swedes’ life expectancy is among the highest in the world.”

“I think only the Japanese live longer,” said Wolk.