We all instinctively know that there are benefits to cooking at home, and if you’re reading this, you most likely fall into one of these two categories: either you already enjoy cooking at home, or you *insert excuse here* and dine out regularly. Whichever it is, today I’m dropping some straight up FACTS on why cooking and eating at home is the better option.
Before we dive in, I do want to preface this by saying that dining out with friends can be healthy for your social life and state of mind, and we all deserve to treat ourselves to a good meal from time to time, but my point here is more to say that on a regular weeknight, it may not be so necessary to hit up that greasy spoon near your apartment…and here are some reasons why:
First and foremost, it’s better for your diet (duh).
I know this sounds like a total no-brainer, but there is actual scientific evidence that shows we almost always eat healthier at home. A study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health has found that we consume fewer carbohydrates, sugars and fats compared to those who dine out – even when we are not actively trying to lose weight. The study showed that not only do we subconsciously have lower caloric intake, but also that we consumed more fiber, calcium, iron, fruits, veggies, and whole grains in general – all the nutritional things our body needs in order to maintain a balanced diet. Subsequently, not only can we control portion sizes, reduce food waste, avoid food allergies, but a healthier diet can ultimately help with chronic disease prevention, lowering the risk of getting heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and gastrointestinal cancers.
Secondly, you save money (and it’s a lot more than you think).
Forbes conducted a research that found staggering results: it’s almost five times more expensive to eat out or order delivery than it is to cook at home. By comparing the average cost per serving of cooking from scratch to the cost per serving of ordering from a restaurant, the study found that you can save a significant amount of money on carb-based dishes (like pasta or pizza), and even more on protein-based dishes. This is because restaurants tend to charge more for beef, pork, chicken etc, than other items, so you can actually save a ton of money by simply learning how to prepare and cook those dishes at home. I promise you, it’s not that hard.
Thirdly, you are developing new skills (and I daresay, getting a ton of brownie points).
While the benefits of cooking at home are plenty, it still may not be enough of an incentive for many others. Even during this COVID-19 recession, people are out and about going to restaurants and ordering Uber Eats like there’s no tomorrow, which just goes to show how deeply this habit is ingrained into our culture. In many cases, the decision to eat out may simply be that food tastes better when it’s prepared by a professional, (and indeed, the thought of ‘healthy food’ is usually linked to bland, water-boiled nastiness) but healthy food can actually taste good on its own. Frankly, the trust that we place into these restaurants to feed us well reflects our own naiveté, considering the high rate of heart disease and diabetes that plagues our society. At the end of the day, the food industry is a business, and not your mom: they don’t actually care what we eat as long as we’re going to pay for it. So, think about cooking as not only a survival skill, but a stepping stone to becoming a more independent, awesome person! Once you’ve learned how to properly cook, you not only would have expanded your mind, developed a new area of interest, found a new outlet for getting creative, but also the ability to spread love and spend quality time with friends at dinner parties! I mean, if that doesn’t sound appealing, then I don’t know what is.