We have written a lot about eating real food and avoiding processed foods, artificial ingredients, and items laden with chemicals. But now I’m telling you to take it a step further and cook real food at home. In today’s modern age of fast food, pre-packaged food and restaurants on every corner, tens of millions of people don’t cook at all, and nearly a third of people say they only cook four out of 21 meals per week.
If you want to improve your health, here is why the majority of your meals need to be made by you:
Cooking is healthier than not cooking
Studies show that, on average, home cooked meals contain fewer calories than those eaten out. It is also superior in quality and nutrition, with more fiber and micronutrients per meal.
Cooking gives you control
Cooking your own meals allows you to control the type and quality of ingredients in your meals. You can be certain the food you and your family consume is the freshest, organic, grass fed, and Non GMO. You can also make sure that your meals aren’t secretly high in sodium, sugar, gluten or chemicals. It is also easier to control portion size.
Cooking is cheaper than not cooking
Those dinners out can really add up in cost, and even if you are just getting take out, the cost of making food at home will still be less expensive. Plus, the long term health benefits will save you money on health care in the long run.
Follow these tips to keep the cost and hassle low
- Plan ahead. Shop once for the week and plan to cook once for several meals. For instance, roasted chicken from dinner, topped on a salad will be a healthy lunch the following day
- Buy produce in season and shop your local farmers market
- Incorporate whole grains that are easy to keep on hand like quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice and barley
- Eat vegetarian once a week. Eggs, beans and legumes are less expensive than animal proteins
No matter how much you don’t like to cook, grabbing an apple takes no more time or thought than stopping at the coffee shop for a fat free, sugar free gluten muffin, but it will help you reach your health and weight goals.