One of the most common pieces of advice when it comes to eating healthy is to make your meals at home. While this has been shown to be effective, the conversation around eating out and home cooked food doesn’t often go into the why of how making your own food can actually contribute to overall health.
Pre-made meals and fast food have a lot of preservatives in them so that they stay good for longer periods of time. While this is not the worst thing in the world, it also isn’t super healthy for you. Sugar and salt are natural preservatives that don’t cause a lot of problems unless eaten in excess, but synthetic preservatives have been linked to cancer and neurological issues.
If you are cooking your meals from scratch at home, it is highly unlikely that you will have any preservatives other than salt or sugar, and you can even reduce those.
When you start with the raw ingredients for your recipes, it is healthier than processed ingredients that are often found in ready-to-eat foods. Cooking your meals at home makes it easier to introduce fruits and vegetables while reducing the amount of carbs and fat that you consume.
Not only is this good for your diet, but it is also good for your digestion. Foods that are low in fiber and high in fat and sugar can make it harder to digest. Studies have also shown that you consume fewer calories when you make your food from scratch, without having to turn to restrictive dieting. Using raw ingredients will fill you up faster.
Restaurant portions are often larger than you can eat in one meal. While it is considered to be part of the culture to make sure that no one goes away hungry and that there are always plenty of leftovers, the reality is that when there is a lot of food on your plate, you tend to eat more food than you normally would, even if you take leftovers home. And because most restaurants aren’t focused on healthy foods, you will be consuming more unhealthy calories than normal. When you make your meals at home, you can be more conscious of the portions you are eating and make sure that your meal is balanced. You don’t have to eat a ton of food to be full, you just need to eat the right amounts of the right foods.
Whatever your reason for deciding to make your meals from scratch, there are always going to be benefits. In addition to being healthier, you can use this as an opportunity to learn new skills in the kitchen and get close to the people that you live with. Experimenting with new recipes can lead to new favorites and stronger relationships.
Did you enjoy this article? Here’s more to read: How to Get More Protein Without Adding Tons of Calories