Studies show eating homemade is healthier
A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research study shows that people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less. Researchers evaluated more than 9,000 meals prepared at home. On average, homemade meals contain more vegetables, less carbohydrates, and less fat than any other meal. Study researchers also concluded that people who eat homemade food also go less often to fast food chains. According to Julia A. Wolfson, the main author of the study, these conclusions apply even when the person who is cooking isn’t trying to lose weight.
Similarly, research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific 2015 revealed that people who ate about two homemade lunches or dinners each day (or 11 – 14 meals per week) had a 13%t lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate less than six homemade meals a week.
So why is homemade food so much better?
We all know that cooking our own food, or cutting back at eating out at restaurants is a healthy habit to build.. but why? Well there are several factors that play info it, namely:
- Hidden Calories, Fat & Sodium in Restaurant Food
Restaurants utilize various techniques to add flavor to their food, such as incorporating butter, cream, sugar or sodium to enhance flavors in their dishes, which as a result, adds extra unnecessary calories, saturated fat and cholesterol to meals. Furthermore, to keep food costs low, some restaurants will utilize highly-processed ingredients in their recipes, such as low-quality oils or high-fructose corn syrup.Data shows that adults consume an additional 200 calories on days they eat at a restaurant. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) studied data from over 12,000 adults between the ages of 20 and 64, from 2003 to 2010. Study participants visited fast food and full-service restaurants on two consecutive days. On days the participants ate at a restaurant, data consistently showed an increase in caloric intake, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium.
- Homemade uses Simple & Natural Ingredients
Homemade recipes utilize a simple array of ingredients, that are natural, such as fresh vegetables, and minimally processed. Additionally, processed foods contain artificial preservatives, to keep the food tasting better for a longer period of time. This great infographic below (courtesy of http://www.lchef.com/) depicts just how complicated and unnatural eating processed foods can be:
- Homemade is local and fresh
You probably hear the mantras of ‘eating local’ or ‘farm to table’ movements all around you, but why is it so important? Is it actually a thing? Turns out YES… there are nutritional benefits behind eating locally sourced and locally prepared food. Restaurants typically source their ingredients from large food distributors who provide products in bulk, and thus the wholesalers themselves are purchasing huge lots of these items from sources all around the world. These products can take long trips, with many warehouse stops on the way, to actually get into the meal you order at the restaurant. Purchasing ingredients at the grocery store can still get you products that have been imported, but at least the time from when a homecook takes their groceries home and utilizes them in a meal are typically less than compared to a restaurant setting.On a similar note, restaurants typically prep the main components of their dishes early in the morning, before actual opening hours, and just ‘assemble’ or heat items when a customer places an order. For example, the vegetables to be used that week can be sliced and diced 6-8 hours before they are even used in a dish. This causes immediate oxidation of the vegetable / fruit, leading to depletion of its antioxidant and vitamin levels.
- Food Safety
Did you know that double the amount of foodborne illnesses occur in a restaurant than a home kitchen? Since commercial eateries are preparing large-scale food operations, and can put out hundreds (or even thousands) of meals a day, the risk of having something go wrong is MUCH higher than that of a home kitchen. A study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), entitled Outbreak Alert 2014: A Review Of Foodborne Illness In America From 2002-2011 , found that the largest number of foodborne illness outbreaks were caused by foods eaten at restaurants, more than twice the number caused by foods eaten at home. See the excerpt below, Table 1, from the report:
At DishDivvy, we understand the importance of providing homemade, natural, and wholesome food options, and helping busy families incorporate these healthy habits into their schedules. We also understand that not everyone has the luxury of time, or talent, to cook their owns meals everyday, and getting help from trusted, local sources, via our approved HomeCooks, is a great resource.