With modern professionals becoming increasingly busy in their work-life, there isn’t much time to cook at home. Additionally, the ready access to outside food has taken away youngsters further away from their kitchens. Thus, while the convenience and speed of “on the go” meals may appear to be a benefit, they ultimately damage our health in the long run.
Outside food is prepared with the intention to tickle your taste buds, using a host of unhealthy and processed ingredients. Continued consumption of such food clears the ground for several medical issues such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalance, and even cardiovascular ailments.
When OneFitPlus client Shivani started suffering from continuous acidity, bloating, and heartburn, she consulted our doctor, who told her that her eating habits were unhealthy. She needed to stop eating outside food and switch to home-cooked meals immediately.
“It was then I realized how much junk I had been putting in my system by eating out so regularly. Apart from my troubled digestion, I also developed a severe acne problem which too subsided as I switched to lighter, healthier home-cooked meals”, says Shivani.
There are several advantages of home-cooked meals. We listed out the advantages below:
HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS
Compared to the food available outside, home-cooked meals have a far better mix of nutrients and minerals. When we cook for our loved ones, we pick and use fresh and healthy ingredients while preparing a meal. Home-prepared meals are likely to have a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Restaurant food is usually laden with unhealthy fat, salt, sugar, processed, stale and artificial ingredients. At the same time, their cooking method may not be healthy too. On the other hand, nutrients-rich home food obtained from whole grains, milk, pulses, beans, vegetables, and fruits releases health benefits for the entire family.
Essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, K, iron, calcium, and magnesium are crucial elements in the diet of growing children, women, and older people. A healthy mix of vital ingredients is present in home-cooked meals to foster growth, energy, and disease-free life.
CLEAN AND HYGIENIC
You can never be entirely sure of the level of hygiene being followed inside restaurant kitchens. Any interface with unhygienic or contaminated food can lead to food poisoning or other digestion-related problems for you.
At home, you can ensure that the kitchen set, including platforms, knives, pots, pans, and cutlery, is hygienic. Besides, you thoroughly clean all the ingredients before using them in a meal. When we are cooking for our loved ones, we go out of our way to make sure the food is perfectly safe and healthy to consume.
HELPS TO MAINTAIN WEIGHT
Home-cooked meals put you in control of how much and what you want to eat. While cooking at home, you are naturally conscious of not using too much of any ingredient viz. sugar, salt, fat, processed flour. Instead, you will use healthy ingredients and create balanced meals that limit the calorie intake to maintain weight for you and the family.
Also, you will be mindful of the portion size of what you serve in contrast with the large portion sizes offered at restaurants. Since you are going to eat small but healthy meals, your food choices will ensure that your calorie intake remains within a limit. Consequently, your weight also remains in check. Children also learn the importance of healthy eating from an early age. As a result, they are less likely to get addicted to junk food and get overweight.
It’s a no-brainer that eating at home vis-à-vis eating out would save you money. Unless you simply cannot bear the sight of your kitchen, it’s always a better idea to pack lunches for work and eat home-cooked dinners. You will end up saving a decent sum of money at the end of every month. Several comparative studies have proven how even the cost of a takeaway is significantly more than the same meal, dished up at home.
For instance, with the amount you would pay for one plate of pav bhaji, you can buy raw ingredients to prepare five such dishes. Besides, you also save the money spent on the extra commute and parking to your choice of eatery.
PROMOTES FAMILY BONDING
Eating together as a family at home fosters positive relationships and a deep sense of bonding. In the age of hectic schedules, lunch or dinner time conversations between family members provide an opportunity to share thoughts, experiences, and wisdom.
Children, specifically, feel secure and more loved if they eat regularly at home with their parents. In addition, eating home-cooked meals together teaches the value of simple food to children at a young age. As a result, they tend to form healthy eating habits, continuing to practice as they grow older. Cooking meals together at home is also a great way to bond with your partner and children, ensuring fun and learning at the same time.
TEACHES FOOD SUSTAINABILITY
By eating at home, we can teach our children the value of healthy eating and sustainable practices. When we use locally grown and regional ingredients in our cooking, we support the local farmer, regional economy, and the environment in general. By getting closer to the origins of our food, we make sure that our family is consuming real, healthy, and unprocessed food.
Convenience and processed food are unhealthy and come with an environmental cost that involves packaging, transportation, and disposal using a large quantity of non-renewable resources. By cooking at home using local and seasonal ingredients, we can teach our children to become mindful consumers who value sustainable products over labeled ones.
Good home-cooked meals put us in control of what and how much we want to eat as a family. More often than not, home food leads us to have a healthy diet that is low on calories but provides adequate energy. By avoiding eating out, we can stay away from processed/junk food and the temptation of unhealthy choices.
In addition to all the benefits, home-cooked meals can also be made interesting by experimenting with various recipes and ingredients. You learn to savor and appreciate the food you prepare yourself. It minimizes the dangers of unhealthy eating and promotes overall well-being, and you also make joyous memories.