It may seem like it’s not very easy to fit cooking into your already busy life. You may have children, work overtime, have planned activities throughout the week, or could be tired after a long day at work. But cooking at home is important for many good reasons.
Here are nine reasons why cooking at home is important:
- You can control what ingredients go into your food.
- People who cook at home are often healthier.
- Cooking at home encourages you to eat smaller portions.
- Cooking at home will save you money.
- You can save valuable time by cooking at home.
- Cooking at home can be relaxing.
- Cooking helps you spend quality time at home.
- Cooking at home is fun.
- You can impress your loved ones with your cooking skills.
Let’s explore why cooking at home is important, and hopefully, it’ll make much more sense of how essential home cooking is to your overall health and happiness. Keep reading.
Why Cooking at Home Is Important
There are many reasons people should cook at home. Whether you’re a student or someone with a busy work schedule, you should consider eating out less and making your own meals at home instead.
The following discusses why cooking at home is important and how it can benefit you.
1. You Can Control What Ingredients Go Into Your Food
In this video by Michael Polin, he explains that restaurant corporations use unhealthy tactics to decrease food costs and get you addicted:
He explains that not only do restaurants use far more sugar, salt, and other harmful ingredients than most of the people who cook at home but that when they combine these ingredients, it makes them consumers get addicted to the food.
Fast food restaurants and junk food companies have found a formula that works for people to get addicted to their products. Combining carbohydrates with fat and intense flavors (usually heavy in salt) produces chemicals in the brain that keep customers coming back for more.
Humans usually prefer higher calorie foods, and when they contain sugar and salt, they give people what can be likened to a high that they’d get from drugs. People love sugar and salt, so it can be easy to overeat if these ingredients are high in food.
In addition to sugar and salt, other hazardous preservatives and chemicals can appear in some restaurant foods. According to a recent study, scientists discovered alarming amounts of phthalates found in various menu items at popular restaurants. Phthalates are toxic chemicals known to have multiple adverse effects on people’s health.
When you cook at home, you control what goes into your food. The recent consensus from most doctors and health professionals is that people should know what is in their food.
One popular method of vetting the ingredients is looking for foods containing only ingredients you know to be edible. Trying to avoid additives that look like they belong in a scientific laboratory is generally thought to be a good idea.
Another advantage of selecting your ingredients is choosing the fats you use for cooking. Certain products like olive oil, avocado oil, and grape seed oil are much healthier than some of the less expensive oils that restaurants commonly use.
Cooking at home allows you to decide what goes on your plate. You can focus on eating more vegetables, less salt, and sugar, choosing the oil you use, and avoiding potentially dangerous chemical additives found in restaurants.
2. People Who Cook at Home Are Often Healthier
A study conducted by Johns Hopkins showed that when people cook at home, they eat a healthier diet than eating out. The research indicated that people consumed fewer calories, fat, and sugar when they ate home cooking. Restaurants, specifically fast food, use way more sugar, fat, and oil than individuals do when cooking at home.
There was also a correlation between cooking at home and diet choices. Those who were less likely to cook at home were more likely to consume fast food or frozen prepared foods, both high in preservatives and unhealthy ingredients.
Because cooking at home allows one to control their ingredients and avoid higher levels of sugar, salt, and preservatives, those who cook at home generally have fewer chances of developing some of the adverse health effects of these ingredients. People who cook at home are much less likely to get diabetes, high blood pressure, hypertension, and even cancer.
Research shows that people who rely on prepackaged and fast foods gain weight due to eating these products with high levels of salt, sugar, fats, and preservatives. Weight gain can lead to or be associated with several health problems.
People who cook at home often have an easier time avoiding high levels of potentially dangerous ingredients and therefore tend to be healthier than those who are eating out frequently.
When you eat at home, you also choose your food portion. Research shows that people will often eat less food if there’s less in front of them.
3. Cooking at Home Encourages You To Eat Smaller Portions
One of the main reasons that people who cook at home tend to be healthier is that they end up eating smaller portion sizes. There are a few reasons for this, but one of the most important is that they’re the ones plating their food. So if you cook at home, you’re responsible for deciding what and how much food goes on your plate.
As discussed earlier, food can be addictive. It’s easy to overeat for many reasons. But one of the biggest culprits is when there’s too much food available to you.
In a study reviewed by The Institutional Review Board of The Pennsylvania State University, subjects with larger portion sizes ate up to 30% more than those with smaller portions.
In addition to this, there is also a correlation between plate size and the amount of food consumed. How many times have you heard “make sure that you clean your plate?” There is a psychological response that makes people feel obligated to finish everything in front of them due to them being told that over the years.
With the recent trend of larger portion sizes over the decades, the plate ware also increased. Choosing the size of your dishes is essential because the bigger the plate, the more food is required to make it look like a full plate.
When you cook at home, you choose the portion size and your plate ware. Choosing the size of your plate can be an excellent way to manage the amount of food that you eat. You can dish the food onto smaller plates than you would get in a restaurant and control how much food is in front of you when you sit down for a meal.
4. Cooking at Home Will Save You Money
It is also much friendlier on your wallet to cook at home. A study conducted by Forbes in 2018 estimated that it is nearly 5 times as much to eat out as it is at home!
One must remember that the restaurant industry has many costs besides food to factor in when eating out. These extra costs like labor and utility bills get passed on to the consumer, reflected in the menu prices.
These price differences are even more noticeable when using delivery apps. There is a wide range of extra charges that delivery apps pass along to the customer, some of which you can not even see.
There are some delivery apps where the prices of menu items are higher than if you order directly from the restaurant, independent of any other fees the app may be charging.
Cooking at home not only saves you money on the meal you eat, but if you plan accordingly, it will also save you even more down the road. If you cook in larger batches, you can freeze some of it and have meals at later dates.
Making a large enough amount of food to freeze is a great way to stretch out the cost because you can use up any ingredients you have before they go bad.
Another way you can save money is by cooking at home because you have fewer temptations. It is tempting to order more food than you need (including appetizers), cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages, and dessert when eating out at a restaurant.
Most restaurant employees are encouraged and often trained to sell you as many of these add-ons as possible. When you eat at home, you are far less likely to spend the money on these items than you would if you were eating out frequently.
5. You Can Save Valuable Time by Cooking at Home
It may seem counterintuitive to some people who think they don’t have time to cook, but cooking can actually help them save valuable time.
You see, you need to get to the restaurant in order to eat there. Unless you and whoever you are eating with are all in the same place and it happens to be conveniently located, or on your way to where you are going, you will be spending extra time getting to the restaurant.
And once you arrive at the restaurant, it can take much longer for the entire dining experience to happen. Restaurants get very busy. Even if you have reservations, you may find yourself waiting for a table.
And once you get the table, this is not always a guarantee for fast service. Especially in recent times where restaurants have had trouble staffing, it can take a server quite a while to do all the tasks required for dining service. And chances are, you are not the only table that they are serving.
There are also steps to the service that you would not usually deal with at home. As mentioned earlier, there are splurge items that you will often get talked into buying from the restaurant staff. These may include appetizers, drinks, and dessert. There is also the often time-consuming process of paying the bill, which you obviously would not have to do at home.
Another way cooking at home can save you time is by preparing enough food to have leftovers. You could have the remaining food later in the week or freeze it to have it for a later date. Either option gives you a quick meal for another time that involves minimal work and cleanup.
Preparing enough food for later is one of the best ways to save time when cooking at home. It just requires a little planning.
6. Cooking at Home Can Be Relaxing
For many people, cooking at home is an almost therapeutic activity. Cooking can be a great way to get their minds off of everyday problems.
Some people like to prepare their food in silence. Others may choose to do it while watching a show or listening to a podcast or music. Any of these preferred environments for cooking can lend itself to relaxation and reduce stress.
There are several reasons cooking can help reduce stress. For starters, the prep work you have to do before cooking can be therapeutic.
You can relax your mind while chopping onions, peeling garlic, peeling a potato, or doing other seemingly monotonous kitchen tasks.
These simple, repetitive tasks are a great way to zone out and not worry about such complicated issues many of us deal with daily. It brings us back to the basics and gives us a job that doesn’t come with a lot of emotional or physical baggage.
For some people, preparing food is almost like meditation and allows them to get their mind off of things and escape into focusing on feeding themselves and their family.
As pointed out in an article by Harvard University, memories are attached to smells because both memories and smells are processed in the human brain’s limbic system.
Cooking certain dishes may invoke memories of your childhood or other exceptional times in your life. When you cook something that a favorite relative made for you, the good memories it gives can help you connect with your past or present and experience positive emotions.
Also, nothing is more relaxing than watching a pot of your favorite sauce simmering on the stove for hours, smelling the tomatoes, cooking slowly, turning them from raw ingredients to something truly delicious.
7. Cooking Helps You Spend Quality Time at Home
Everyday life is busy and often stressful. It is nice to stay at home for meals rather than worrying about the logistics of going out to eat. You can skip the stress of battling traffic and instead remain at home for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
When you cook at home, it gives you quality time in your house. Whether you are single, have a big family, or are sharing a meal with friends, cooking at home allows you to enjoy the time in your living space. Scientists and doctors have long stated that the quality of your life at home can directly impact your physical and mental health.
Spending time with your loved ones has proven beneficial for the human psyche for as long as one can remember. Humans are social creatures, and connecting with friends and family keeps us happy.
According to this article from Mayo Clinic, maintaining social connection plays a vital role in physical and mental health. Having proper social activity can reduce your risk for depression, obesity, and other significant illnesses.
To sustain relationships, you must put effort into maintaining them. Cooking with or for friends and family is one of the best ways to foster relationships. People love food, and people enjoy being taken care of.
Few things say that you care more than preparing somebody a delicious meal. Cooking takes time, effort, and planning, and it shows the people in your life how much you care about them when you feed them.
Many people of all ages enjoy cooking and eating, and it is a great way to bond with people you otherwise may not share a lot in common. Generations of a family can feel a connection through the kitchen. Everyone remembers spending time with a relative or friend in the kitchen, and these are often some of the fondest memories in a lifetime.
8. Cooking at Home Is Fun
One of the best ways to connect with your friends and family is in the kitchen. There are myriad recipes you can try and numerous ways to make time in the kitchen fun.
Listed below are a few ideas for how cooking at home is fun:
- Schedule certain meals on specific nights. Saturdays could be designated to making pasta from scratch, bbq night, or assembling your favorite grilled cheese sandwich.
- Give everyone a chance to help in the kitchen. Suppose you have children. Get them to join in the process. Let them flex their creative muscles and try their hand at cooking.
- Turn cooking into a game. You could pretend like you are on a cooking show and create a challenge for you and your family. For example, try to make a fine-dining-caliber meal for four using a budget of no more than $20.
- Make an average day a special occasion. Have a holiday meal on a regular day. Assign everyone in your house a dish to make and enjoy a feast together at the end.
- Let younger children take on more complicated roles in the kitchen. As long as they are up for the task and there is a safe way to get involved, you can challenge them to take on new responsibilities.
The kitchen can be one of the most creative rooms in your house if you use your imagination. There are few places in your home, let alone life, where you can use as much creativity as in the kitchen. This creative outlet can be a great way to have some quality time with your family and have a good time in the process.
9. You Can Impress Your Loved Ones With Your Cooking Skills
Cooking and eating have gained massive appeal in pop culture and at home over the past couple of decades. Chefs, bartenders, and restaurants are now at the forefront of our daily lives. Food and the people who make it are in our daily lives through television, radio, or enjoying a meal out on the town.
Spending your time in the kitchen while hosting a party used to be considered a faux pas. Now many kitchens in newer homes are being designed because people like to watch other people cook. It can be a great way to show your friends your culinary prowess and get a great conversation going while doing something constructive.
What better way to impress your friends than learning how to cook? People are much more willing and eager to try new foods than ever before. The newfound interest in cooking led to a broader range of dishes with which people are familiar.
Impress your friends or family by learning to cook something you have only imagined eating in a restaurant. Or by learning techniques and methods associated with the finest culinary professionals.
Challenge yourself to make pizza from scratch. Or maybe you want to replicate that delicious hamburger you had at your local fast-food chain but with healthier ingredients. Learn how to bake a cake for a friend that looks like it could be the centerpiece of a wedding. Or choose a cuisine you are not familiar with, study recipes, and try to make dishes you haven’t tried before.
You can also ask your friends about their experience with certain foods. Learn from them, and don’t hesitate to reach out and discover more about what they like to eat. You will find that your relationship with friends can grow even more when it involves figuring out your similarities and differences in eating.
Cooking is something you could do for a lifetime without mastering it. Cooking is enjoyable and frequently rewarding. There is no shortage of new recipes and methods to learn in the kitchen. And this allows you to impress friends and family in infinite ways.