How Cooking At Home Makes Eating Everywhere Healthier

Illustrated by Sydney Hass.
Although the benefits of cooking at home have sometimes been disputed, most agree that staying (and dining) in more often is probably a good thing. And, new research shows that the benefits of home cooking may even extend to your meals at other dining tables.
The study, to be published in an upcoming issue of Public Health Nutrition, looked at data from 9,569 participants — a nationally representative sample — in the National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. Specifically, the researchers looked at how often the respondents cooked dinner at home, whether they had any intentions to lose weight or eat healthier, their calorie intake, and the quality of their diets.
Their results turned up a few intriguing things: First, unsurprisingly, those who weren't married and those who worked more than 35 hours per week were less likely to cook at home. Those with a higher income were more likely to cook at home. But, people who cooked at home more frequently (at least twice a week) ate fewer calories per day, on average. Their overall diets were also lower in carbohydrates, sugar, and fat — and this was true whether or not the participants had any weight-loss intentions. So, this suggests that eating at home more often can sort of protect us from eating less healthy meals when we're out.
And, previous research has shown that sharing home-cooked meals can even make you act in more altruistic ways. So, this is just another reason to save Seamless for another night.

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