It’s no secret that America is a fast food nation. It’s also not hard to look at our dismal national health statistics and connect the dots. While plenty of people are trying to make a change, there are quite a few challenges to overcome.
One common trap is the assumption that restaurants are better than fast food places. Although there are exceptions, the big secret of many restaurants is what they serve can be packed with just as many calories, if not more, than what’s on fast food menus.
Because it is so hard to know and control exactly what you’re getting when other people make your food, one of the best things that anyone can do for their body and health is to cook most of their meals at home. If you’re wondering exactly why, let’s take a look at the five most significant benefits:
You Know What You’re Eating
A big issue with restaurants is many don’t publish any sort of calorie information about their foods. And even when a restaurant or fast food chain does publish information, you’re generally not going to get as detailed information as you like. Cooking your own meals means you’ll actually know exactly what goes into them.
Maximize Flavor, Minimize Bad Sources of Calories
Recipes aren’t something that are written in stone. If you come across one that looks good but has ingredients that you’d prefer to exclude, you can easily experiment to find a healthier substitute. Once you get used to this approach, you’ll find that it’s very easy to modify most recipes to meet your personal health standards.
Better Food for Less
Although buying groceries can seem quite expensive at first, once you get your kitchen stocked with the basics, you’ll find that the actual costs of the meal you prepare are much less than what you’d pay if you went out to eat. Additionally, you can actually eat higher quality food than you would get eating out and still keep the cost lower!
Did you know? There is a great kitchen appliance that can help you do that easily; that is foodsaver vacuum sealer. This machine can preserve your food with the best quality; minimize waste of food so you will save more money.
Easier to Slow Down and Eat Less
When you grab fast food or even sit down at a busy restaurant, there’s an expectation that your food needs to be consumed as quickly as possible. Because there’s about a twenty minute delay between putting food in your mouth and your brain registering what you ate, studies have shown that eating fast increases the total number of calories consumed.
Just like patients at drug rehab facilities are taught to slow down and actually recognize their feelings, sitting down for a real meal makes it possible to get more enjoyment out of food while ultimately taking in fewer calories.
Getting to Experiment
Because you’re cooking for yourself, you have the opportunity to try all kinds of new recipes – never cooked a whole chicken? Time to try it out! Never used allspice? Time to whip up something tasty! There are tons of resources online for finding recipes, so don’t be shy.
After a busy start at work, you deserve a tasty and nutritious lunch to carry you through the rest of the day. Once you start cooking in the evenings, instead of settling for a dull sandwich at lunch, you can enjoy delicious leftovers that are just as easy to prepare.
Even if you have very little experience cooking, it’s never too late to start learning. You can start with just a couple of times a week, and before long, you’ll find that you naturally want to cook as many of your own meals as possible!
This article was published on behalf of Aaron Walker; he is a writer who first started seriously cooking his own meals when he was studying abroad in France years ago. He’s been hooked ever since!