The Benefits of Cooking at Home

Article 3 min

Is cooking at home your new reality? There are upsides to making meals at home that may surprise you!

By DFC - PLC, Nutrition Team
Man cooking a meal at home.

Highlights

  • Cooking meals at home is associated with many health benefits. For instance, it lowers your risk of excess weight and type 2 diabetes.
  • Taking control of your meal planning can help you incorporate important nutritious foods, like whole-grains, fruits, leafy greens, milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt, legumes, nuts and more.
  • Preparing meals for others can enhance feelings of confidence and joy.

Boost mental and physical health by being in control of the food you prepare and eat. In an increasingly high stress environment, it’s important to take care of yourself!

A boost to your health

According to a Harvard study, people who eat meals prepared at home more often are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and to gain weight over time.(1) Not surprisingly, cooking at home can boost health because you are in control of the ingredients used in your meals. It gives you the freedom to load up on good-for-you ingredients, like vegetables, fruit, grains and wholesome protein foods. Simple ingredients are all that’s needed to make a delicious meal like this Curried Squash and Apple Soup

Benefits for your psychological well-being

Are you feeling isolated and out of sorts? Spending time preparing meals at home can work to the benefit of your mental health. Getting in the kitchen means quality time spent with your household members, and precious time away from the screens that are likely on 24/7.  Another important perk: carrying out an act for another person—such as cooking a homemade meal for someone else—has been shown to have positive effects on mood and psychological state. Julie Ohana, a culinary art therapist, stresses the perks of cooking for others.(2) She sees increased self-esteem and better stress management, among the list of benefits for her clients. For her, cooking is used as a means of communication and expression.

A bonus for your bank account

In times of financial unknowns, cooking at home can stretch the budget. Delivery is certainly an option, but just a few healthful foods close at hand can be whipped up into a nourishing simple meal at significant savings. Consider making this BBQ Spinach Ricotta Pizza.

 

Sources

1. Zong G et al. Consumption of meals prepared at home and risk of type 2 diabetes: an analysis of two prospective cohort studies. PLoSMed 2016;13:e1002052.

2. Ohana, Julie. What is culinary art therapy?