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Cooking: Your Most Essential Health Habit


If there is one skill to learn to better your health, it’s cooking! 


Making a meal for yourself would have previously been an essential skill for survival, but with fast-food, food delivery services, and pre-prepared foods everywhere, it really doesn’t seem that important anymore. 


Patients often tell me that breaking the DoorDash and UberEats habit is one of the toughest changes on their health journey. Let’s face it, when you get home at 6pm, it’s dark outside, and you’re absolutely exhausted, you probably don’t want to spend the next hour cooking dinner. Or cleaning up the kitchen afterwards. 


It’s so much easier to press a couple buttons on your phone and have your food show up right to your door - no preparation, no cook time, no cleanup time!


I’m not going to argue with you on this one - ordering in and fast food is certainly more convenient and less time consuming. But let me share some often overlooked benefits of home cooking, especially when it comes to your health. 


Research has found that when people cook their own meals they are much more likely to eat within the Mediterranean and DASH diet guidelines. These two dietary patterns have been reported to have a plethora of health benefits, especially the Mediterranean diet.


The Mediterranean diet has been shown to decrease mortality rates, particularly mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer. It has also been shown to decrease the incidence of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Needless to say, the diet has a variety of benefits for heart health and brain health - and you’re naturally more likely to eat in this beneficial way when you cook at home!


Studies have also found that eating at home is associated with a greater intake of fruits and vegetables. People who eat at least 5 meals per week at home are also more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, cooking at home has been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing type II diabetes. 


To summarize, cooking your meals at home can help you reduce your risks for cardiovascular disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and type II diabetes. It can also help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight. These are some pretty awesome benefits! 


Now, hopefully I’ve convinced you to start cooking some meals at home and you’re feeling inspired! But if you’re stuck in the mindset of “this is some great information, I just wish I had the time to cook at home”, let me help. 


I am hosting a workshop, Healthy Eating for Busy Lifestyles on Thursday January 25th, 2024 with my co-op student and Holistic Nutritionist, Emilia London. 


If time is your  biggest barrier to healthy eating and cooking at home, this workshop was made for you. We are giving you our favourite tips for maintaining your health goals, even if your schedule is hectic. 


You are also going to walk away with a free meal-planning template for your next grocery shopping trip, a smoothie building guide, and 3 twenty-minute recipes from Emilia! This is our way of giving you everything you need to succeed beyond the workshop, and help you bring healthy eating to life!


Cooking for yourself can have a huge impact on your health - in my opinion, it is one of the most essential skills for healthy living. 





References


Sofi, F., Cesari, F., Abbate, R., Gensini, G. F., & Casini, A. (2008). Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 337, a1344. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a1344


Mills, S., Brown, H., Wrieden, W. et al. Frequency of eating home cooked meals and potential benefits for diet and health: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 14, 109 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0567-y


​​Polak, R., Tirosh, A., Livingston, B., Pober, D., Eubanks, J. E., Jr, Silver, J. K., Minezaki, K., Loten, R., & Phillips, E. M. (2018). Preventing Type 2 Diabetes with Home Cooking: Current Evidence and Future Potential. Current diabetes reports, 18(10), 99. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11892-018-1061-x

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