Cooking At Home Trumps Dining Out And Positively Affects Your Health, New Research

Mar 15 2017 - 1:01pm
cooking at home

Dining-in is the one way to resurrect both your health and your spending, since dining out is less healthy overall than cooking at home, according to the latest research.

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Sorry restaurant lovers – we’ve got some bad news for you… that restaurant habit you have – studies show it’s really unhealthy.

There is no doubt there has been a shift in eating values in the last twenty years. Culturally, Americans have adopted a fast food movement, abandoning family dinners in the name of convenience. We have abandoned preparing and eating the very whole foods that are meant to bring us back into the kitchen and to keep our health and our families whole. In the end, this slow food movement stemming from nature has gone bust in America society.

The good new is, in looking at the benefits of eating home vs. eating out, researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health have spent years poking around a few kitchens, and published some fresh results confirming that people who cook at home more often are getting a better deal economically and health-wise.

"By cooking more often at home, you have a better diet at no significant cost increase, while if you go out more, you have a less healthy diet at a higher cost," said Adam Drewnowski, director of the UW's Center for Public Health Nutrition and senior author of "Cooking at home: A strategy to comply with U.S. dietary guidelines at no extra cost," published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

This isn’t new news. Researchers also studied those who had frequently cooked at home and found that as a result, they consumed fewer calories on the occasions when they did dine out. The study affirmed that people who frequently cooked meals at home ate healthier and consumed fewer calories than those who cooked less, according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research, consuming fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cooked less or not at all – even if they aren't trying to lose weight.

The Slow Food Movement Can Be Resurrected

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An analysis of trends in US home food preparation and consumption concluded that US adults have decreased consumption of foods from the home and reduced time spent cooking since 1965, but this trend appears to have leveled off, with no substantial decrease occurring after the mid-1990’s.

However, a 2014 report from the National Gardening Association Food Gardening gives some home that home-cooking is making a comeback. The report showed gardening in the U.S. is at the highest levels in more than a decade and reported that thirty-five percent of all households in America, or forty-two million households, are growing food at home or in a community garden. This number has gone up seventeen percent in five years and continues to surge.

Here's an excerpt from the book EAT! – Empower. Adjust. Triumph!: Lose Ridiculous Weight addressing the plight of the fast food movement in America.

“Eating is a communal activity that brings people together, joining them to talk, laugh, share, celebrate, debate, and to cook. With food becoming trendy, fast, gourmet and addictive, we’ve stopped spending this much-needed quality time in our kitchens. Inexplicably, our food values have diminished for the sake of convenience. This fast food movement has left our refrigerators filled with leftover takeout and ready-made meals instead fresh fruits, vegetables, and home cooking. We eat in our cars. We eat standing up. We eat as we walk. We barely chew. We no longer eat together as a family. We are on the go and it’s negatively affecting our digestion, overall health and our weight.”

You Can Triumph In The Kitchen!

Since the fast food movement is proving to be the biggest detriment to the state of American health, using our kitchens – making them a major part of our lives again – is the magic bullet to bringing families together, improving health, living well, and enjoying home cooked food. Your kitchen either stores your arsenal of health or disease. If you’ve got a kitchen loaded with processed foods and leftover take out, you’ve got an arsenal of disease. A kitchen filled with nature’s fast foods, is empowered with an arsenal of health. While you certainly don’t have to grow your own food, you are responsible for what goes into your kitchen, and as head chef of your household and commander-in-chief of your body, you are accountable for what comes out of it.

That being said, the fresher your food, the more likely you will be to want to cook it. So invest in the freshest organic ingredients you can find, enjoy the foods of the season, seek out farmer’s markets when you can, and help make cooking a communal event again that allows food to bring you and your family back together. At the end of the day, home is where your health is.

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