It’s no secret that a healthy diet is one that is low on carbohydrates, fat, sugar, and high on proteins. But do you know what’s the most important ingredient of a healthy diet? Research shows that it is ‘Home Cooking’. With obesity becoming a worldwide epidemic, the importance of a healthy diet and hence cooking your own food at home has reached new heights today.
The Morsel on Your Fork is More Important Than You Think!
In a CNN interview, celebrated nutritionist Joy McCarthy says her response is constant when clients come to her asking for one easy diet change and that is ‘Start cooking your own food.’ So when we have such well meaning advice and information available, what then stops us from chewing on home cooked meals? It is the preconceived notion that ‘we can’t and it’s time consuming’. Well not really. Check out these 5 reasons that will dispel your notions and make you rethink on dining out/taking takeaway meals.
#1: Home cooking is key to longevity:
A Cambridge study reveals people who cook their own meals up to five times a week are 47% more likely to still be alive after 10 years. So while time spent huffing and puffing in the gym is important for your body, some toiling in the kitchen will prove just as good, if not better.
#2: You control what goes into your mouth:
Research shows that people who home cook most of their meals, tend to consume fewer carbohydrates, sugar, and fat compared to those who cook less or not at all – even when they are not trying to lose weight. Such people also consumed fewer calories on the occasions when they dine out. Home cooking involves getting the ingredients and planning meals yourself and when you do that, you tend to make better choices nutrition-wise than you do looking at attractive restaurant menus. Portion size – another major factor also gets controlled when you cook your own meals. Restaurants often lure patrons with large portion sizes and typically each serving comes laden with oodles of sugar, sodium, and oil.
#3: It’s good for your relationships:
Community cooking, though an almost dead practice now, was an integral part of ancient societies where people frequently came together to cook large meals, eat, drink, and make merry. There was solid science behind it – research shows that community kitchens are about more than just cooking together – they serve as a community development tool. People come together to share knowledge, ideas, cultures, lifestyles—and of course food. Cooking and eating together has an inherent human element to it. While today’s fast-paced lives leave little room for community engagement, you could start by inviting a few friends, neighbours, and family to cook together and see your social life blossom.
#4: Have kids? Make home cooking your priority:
Families that cook and eat together, stay together. Research shows that kids who eat regular meals with family are less likely to be school truants. They are also 42 % less likely to have alcohol problems, 50 % less likely to smoke and 66 % less likely to report substance abuse. Children who do not share meals with family are also 40% more likely to be obese compared to those who spend meal-time with family at least 5-6 times a week. One of the biggest reason behind these alarming statistics is what Michael Pollan, a celebrated food author, outlines in his book Cooked – restaurant meals are almost always less healthy than homemade foods, as they are generally packed with higher fat, salt, and caloric content.
#5: It’s easy on the pocket:
On an average, cooking your own food can lead to savings of $6 per person per meal including the cost of your time and effort. You can even cook a bunch of healthy meals together and freeze them for use over a period of time. Not only is it easy on the budget and labor, it also saves you from the temptation of eating out or ordering in. If planning your own menu and sourcing the ingredients is what makes you avoid home cooking, try a meal kit delivery service. These new-age services specialize in delivering ready-to-cook meal kits with the right measured ingredients, thereby cutting down wastage and giving you total value for money.
Cooking Your Own Food Solves Everything. Well..Almost
Mark Bittman’s book Cooking Solves Everything aptly details why we should really be cooking. One of the best pieces of journalism on the topic of home cooking, the famous food writer’s journey dispels a lot of myths commonly associated with the art. He writes “People who prepare own meals—even infrequently—achieve outcomes that extend far beyond the morsel at the end of the fork. Cooking may not solve everything, but it solves a lot. When people make food a priority in their lives, they actively contribute to society. Cooking can change our collective lives for the better.”
If you are looking at ways to manage your health and are confused about where to start, this page could be your first step.