How Healthy Is Home-Cooked Food?
By Janin Hendry
The holidays are around the corner, along with plates of amazing homemade food and treats. Whether it's your grandmother's cookies or the perfect ham coming out of the oven, you might wonder how healthy home cooking is.
How Is Home-Cooked Food Healthy?
Home-cooked food comes with many benefits that store-bought food does not. These benefits make a huge difference in the overall health of the food you eat.
Weight control - Home cooked food makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight. It also can help you lose weight depending on what you are cooking.
Better balance of vitamins and minerals - Eating at home makes it easier to make good food choices and fill your plate with foods that can keep your body running smoothly.
Less sodium - One of the main preservatives in a lot of foods is sodium. In small amounts, sodium is good for your body, but store-bought food or salt used in excess adds beyond our daily intake.
A healthy adult needs about 1,500 to 2,000 mg of sodium per day as per the WHO. Most canned soups and pasta sauces average about 800 to 1,000 mg of sodium per serving. There are low-sodium options, but substitutes are not much better.
Less processed food - Processed food comes with high amounts of additives our bodies do not need for proper functioning, including trans fats, artificial ingredients, sugar, and refined carbohydrates.
How Can Home-Cooked Food Be Unhealthy?
While cooking at home is better for your health, your food choices can negate the benefits. There are many ways of cooking at home that can be detrimental to your health if you do not consider your choices.
Processed ingredients - It is very easy to reach for a package out of a freezer or a can off the shelf to make your home-cooked meal in our busy world. It does save time but adds to the intake of preservatives and harmful dyes.
Poor meal choices - Cooking at home is a lot healthier for your diet, but you need to make good choices when you do cook. Our diets require various foods to remain balanced, but foods such as fried chicken or french fries can skew the meal toward the unhealthy side even if it is homemade.
Too much sodium - Salt is a common ingredient added to most meals to bring out the natural flavors in sauces and meats. It is also very easy to add too much.
Eating a home-cooked meal is still the best way to improve your diet and overall health. Planning meals ahead of time make it easier to put fresh ingredients and healthy meals on your table. It is also easy to make a meal, such as a stir fry, that everyone can dive into if they cannot sit down to a traditional meal.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic Clinic in Morrisville, N.C.