Having food in the fridge and cupboards may do more than help tame a hungry belly: it may make it easier to manage blood pressure.
New data suggests that empty cupboards can make it tough to manage blood sugar and increase the risk for diabetes later in life.
Some have trouble keeping food at home because of food insecurity. They simply don’t have the resources to get to a grocery store or purchase nutritious foods. In other cases, it could come down to time or taste.
But data suggests that when people have food at home to cook, they may be better equipped to regulate blood sugar.
A recent study found that people between the ages of 34 and 42 who experienced food insecurity at ages 24-32 had higher diabetes rates than those without food struggles during the same period.
But even those with the resources to eat nutritious foods don’t always keep quality food on hand to snack on or to cook for meals. And what food may be on their shelves are processed and ready-made meals.
People strapped for time often forgo cooking and grocery shopping to shop for cheaper, faster options. Fast-food restaurants and corner stores on every block make it very easy to grab something cheap.
But those options are more likely to cost later, as they boost the risk for conditions like heart disease and diabetes and the associated medical bills.
If you can, try to dedicate more time to shopping for nutrient-dense foods, even if that means taking an hour or two to go to a neighboring community where food is available. If you’ve got financial restrictions, talk to a social worker or community organization about how to access nutritious food and inquire about local farming initiatives.
There is no doubt that the availability and equity of nutrition is off balance. But good food exists, and it can be accessible.