New research from Oregon State University confirms what we try to follow ourselves for good health: make most of your meals and limit foods prepared away-from-home. This study shows that doing this may be the most effective way to improve your diet and slash your monthly food expenses at the same time.
The study included more than 400 Seattle-based adults and the researchers tracked how many dinners the families enjoyed from away-from-home versus home-cooked meals.
Results? The researchers reported that those who cooked meals at home six or more times a week had a Healthy Eating Index (HEI) of 74 compared to a score of 67 for those who ate fewer dinners at home. Higher HEI scores indicate that the participants’ diets are lower in added sugars, saturated fat, empty calories and higher in essential nutrients. Other studies have found that individuals who eat more meals away from home are more likely to be overweight or obese.
Personally, I have limited eating out for years and never feel like I’m missing out. As a result, I’ve become a confident cook and feel like it’s kept my weight stable for years and has helped keep me and my family healthy.
At the same time, those eating more meals at home slashed the food budget by $60.00 per person per month or $720 per year. That’s a win-win!
The full research article is available in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.