According to recent Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study, those who cook at home regularly eat better and consume less calories than those who cook less frequently. The study also found that cooking for yourself versus paying someone else to cook allows you have more control over the ingredients that go into your meal and eliminates the possibility of eating unhealthful ingredients that might be used by others.
Cooking for yourself means having access to all the good stuff that's usually reserved for dinner guests or restaurant patrons: fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. And because you're preparing the meals, you can choose what goes in them. You can use only the freshest ingredients or you can save money by buying packaged foods that don't need to be heated before they are served. Either way, cooking for yourself is likely to result in healthier choices that leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Not only is homemade food healthier, it's also cheaper! Research published in 2004 in the Journal of Nutrition showed that people who cooked from scratch each week saved about $60 compared with those who bought their meals prepared by others.
It has been shown to be healthier. According to several research, persons who cook more often than they eat out have a better diet overall. These studies also reveal that restaurant meals include more salt, saturated fat, total fat, and calories than home-cooked meals. Eating out also tends to lead to eating more quickly, which can result in consuming more calories than you think.
The key is to choose recipes that are easy to make ahead of time and that use ingredients that people have on hand. This way you can avoid going to the store every time you want to eat something new.
Cooking for yourself and your family is an important part of staying healthy. If you're not used to cooking, start with simple recipes and work your way up. For example, try making pasta once or twice a week instead of buying it from the store. Once you get the hang of it, you can start adding spices and vegetables to your dishes.
Have a look at some of our favorite healthy meal ideas below!
Start the day right by eating a high-fiber breakfast such as bran flakes cooked with milk and fruit. This will help keep you full all morning long without too many calories.
For lunch, make a sandwich bag full of salad. Put together green lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and any other veggies you have on hand.
4 Surprising Health Benefits of Cooking at Home
The Average Cost of Home Cooking Preparing meals at home will always be less expensive than eating out. A same dinner in a restaurant may cost up to seven times as much. When you cook at home, you not only save money, but you also know exactly what's in your food.
However, there are times when dining out is the more economical choice. If you're new to cooking or have limited time, going out for dinner may be the easier option. Restaurant kitchens are usually better equipped than those of home cooks, so many dishes can be prepared outside the home without sacrificing quality. Restaurants also tend to use better ingredients than most people would get at home. For example, they often use fresh herbs instead of the dried versions found in most households. Finally, restaurants need to make a profit, so they will usually offer discounts on menus items. If you decide to go out for dinner, check online for discount codes before you arrive.
Home cooking has its advantages too. You can try new recipes, use different ingredients, and improve your skills over time. Plus, you can spend as much or as little time in the kitchen as you want. If you're in a hurry, you can quickly throw together a meal using pre-prepared foods such as frozen pizzas or packaged salads. Or, if you have plenty of time, you can make a full meal from scratch. Either way, cooking at home is the most affordable option.
Over 9,000 home-cooked meals were analyzed by the researchers. Homemade meals, on average, include more veggies, less carbs, and less fat than any other meal. People who consume homemade meals visit fast food outlets less frequently, according to the researchers. They conclude that "these findings suggest that increased availability of home-cooked meals may help prevent excessive consumption of calories from fast food."
Home cooking makes use of the entire vegetable kingdom - including potatoes, carrots, and peas - rather than its limited selection at fast food places. The quality of vegetables used in home cooking is also superior to that found at fast food restaurants. Home cooks also use fewer processed foods and more whole grains in their cooking. These choices lead to healthier diets overall.
The most popular reason given for preferring home-cooked meals is that they're easier to eat well with. Time is a big factor for busy people, so if you can't be bothered to cook fresh food, then buying packaged or frozen options is the next best thing. Those recipes are usually simpler to make than trying to create something new from scratch!
Some people like the familiarity of eating the same meal each day. This approach saves time, which many modern families need anyway.
Finally, some people enjoy preparing home-cooked meals that can be enjoyed with friends and family.
According to research, people who eat home-cooked meals on a daily basis are happier and healthier, and they consume fewer sugary and processed foods, which can result in more energy and better mental health. 4, Eating home-cooked meals five days a week or more is even linked to a longer life. One study that analyzed the diets of more than 7,000 men and women found that those who cooked from scratch at least once a day had lower mortality rates than those who never cooked from scratch.
Home cooking provides the opportunity to try new recipes and improve upon old favorites. It's also a great way to get creative with the ingredients you have on hand. For example, if you usually buy chicken breasts but this time you have a choice between a breast and thigh, go with the thigh since it will give you more nutrients for your money. If you usually use milk but have some soy milk lying around, that's fine; just substitute it for the regular milk in any recipe that calls for it.
The most important thing is that you enjoy what you're cooking. Be sure to take time out of your busy day to cook a meal for yourself or someone else. It doesn't have to be complicated or expensive; simply putting together a healthy dish that includes all your favorite ingredients is enough to make anyone happy!