London: Scientists have found that the more time people spend preparing meals in the kitchen, the greater their risk of heart disease.
Researchers studied more than 2,700 women and found that those who cut back on the time spent on cooking reduce their risk of developing various health problems linked with heart disease by more than a third.
Experts said the findings could partly be down to people eating bigger portions when they cook for themselves rather than buying convenience foods, such as snacks and ready-made meals, 'The Telegraph' reported.
"While the reasons underlying this association are still unclear, we think these findings indicate the need to revise our public health messaging, including the need to emphasise healthy cooking methods and to consider the potential benefits of healthy convenience meals," said Dr Brad Appelhans, of Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, who led the study.
The study analysed 14 years of data on 2,755 women aged 42 to 52.
Researchers measured five markers of metabolic syndrome, the medical term for when someone has any three out of five factors that put people at greater risk of heart disease: obesity, fat levels in the blood, cholesterol, hypertension and blood glucose levels.
The risk of having metabolic syndrome increased over time, but the rise was greater among those who spent the most time on meals. In those who reduced their time cooking, the risk fell.