Food Science: Cooking at Home can improve your health
We have become so use to translating eating into ordering takeout, eating at fancy restaurants, stopping at a food truck or snacking on cupcakes from the bakery down the road. What ever happened to preparing all meals in the comfort of your own kitchen? I remember when I was younger, most of our meals were home cooked.
We are living in times where health is becoming a real concern and everyone is trying to eat the right kinds of foods to sustain themselves. Then why do we put that decision in the hands of someone else? Home cooked food usually contains fewer calories, less sugar and less of those dreaded carbohydrates (which I know is really yummy).
Let’s not even talk about how much money it will save you because let’s face it, restaurants have become ridiculously expensive. You can create a healthier version of your favorite meals for a fraction of the cost you’ll pay at a restaurant. Let’s explore the idea of home cooking and how it can improve both our health and our budget.
How huge are some of the portions you receive at fast food joints? You can basically supersize everything but should you really be doing it? Cooking at home allows you to have control over the portions you eat which helps both your health and your wallet. If you are not fussy, you can eat the dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. Scientists have proven that if we take our portion sizes back to the 1950’s we would eat half of what we are eating now. Try eating off of smaller plates. You will prove to yourself that the portions we are served in today’s restaurants are enormous.
Food allergy safety
When you cook at home you have control over your nutritional intake. You would also be able to avoid food allergens which are not always a huge concern to restaurants. Many of the most common food allergens are used in popular dishes. Some restaurants might unintentionally serve you meals with traces of an ingredient you are allergic to. Gain control over what goes into your body by cooking all your meals at home.
Buying and cooking your own food allows you to decide which ingredients you prefer to be of a higher quality. We all have our preferences and tastes. Perhaps you prefer to buy only organic tomatoes because they taste sweeter. When you go to a restaurant, you have to be content with the ingredients the chef used. Many people are weary of preservatives and thus selecting your own food will give you a better chance of avoiding anything that is not good for your body. Here is a list (the dirty dozen) of foods that contains the most pesticides and should be consumed with caution.
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Imported Snap Peas
Also, not included in the dirty dozen but contains significant amounts of pesticides are hot peppers, kale and collard greens.
Planning your meals for the week can help your health but especially your budget. You can buy a few items and mix things up by changing the recipes between meals. For example, if spinach is on special this week, you might have a delicious potato and spinach curry in mind. You can use the same spinach in a lovely salad or a wrap. See, this is how you save your well earned money. Also, when you meal plan you can go grocery shopping once a week and avoid overspending. Have your list ready and stick to it. Going to the shop daily to buy a few items always end up in you spending a little more than planned.
Work around you budget
We all have a budget we try and stick to. If you cook your food at home, you can spoil yourself with a more expensive meal one day and have something less expensive the next. You decide how much you are willing to spend on one meal and how much you are willing to sacrifice later. Restaurants have set prices and what you may pay for a simple soup or salad, can easily be done at home for a fraction of the cost.
There are many benefits to cooking your own meals. You just have to find the motivation that suite you best to get started. There are many recipes on Gastronomer if you don’t know where to start. Test as many as you can and write down your favorites so you build an arsenal of go-to meals. Home cooking will improve your health and save you money so why not give it a try?
You can start your home cooking adventure by trying out some of these easy to cook recipes.
Smoked Salmon Potato Salad (Must try recipe)