Preparing more meals at home requires some planning, but those who cook frequently can reduce their risk of obesity by 24%.


The Healthy Benefits of Cooking at Home

It’s easy to fall into the habit of grabbing a “quick and easy” meal out after a long day at work, but with a little preparation and planning, cooking at home can still be quick and easy.  You will be on your way to a healthier diet, and the benefits you will gain can have a dramatic effect on your physical health.


Fewer Calories, More Nutrition

Eating out typically means higher amounts of sodium, saturated fat, total fat, and overall calories than home-cooked meals.  In fact, a study from John Hopkins University found that those who cooked at home frequently consumed fewer calories and less sugar and carbohydrates than those who only made a home cooked meal once a week. 

And, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), those who eat  home-cooked meals  more than five times a week are 24% less likely to have excess body fat when compared to those who only prepare meals three times a week or less.


Select Fresh Ingredients

Cooking at home allows you to focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and other “good-for-you” ingredients.  Pre-packaged meals, frozen foods, and processed items from the grocery store should be limited when planning meals. Most contain too many additives and preservatives.


Control Portion Size

The super-sized meals dished out at many restaurants start to distort our idea of what a normal serving looks like.  Even some of the “healthier” restaurant options can still pack a whopping 1,200 calories or more. Home-cooked meals allow you to control your portion sizes to more appropriate amounts. 


Good for Body AND Soul

Believe it or not, cooking can release stress, encourage  creativity, and improve your mental health.  Homemade meals bring about  positivity because you are providing a healthy meal for yourself and/or your family. It also provides quality time with family and friends.  And, cooking together with your children can teach them healthy food choices and basic cooking skills that can last a lifetime.


Cost Effective

Even with the price of groceries climbing, most times it is still more economical to prepare meals at home. Check your grocery store’s weekly ads and plan meals around items that are on sale.

If meal preparation is difficult for you, start by dedicating one additional day a week to stay in and cook.  Quick and easy recipes are easily found on many online sources. So put on your chef’s hat and enjoy the numerous health benefits that can come along!