Our busy lifestyles have trapped us into a rut of working, sleeping, and eating out. Many of us complain that we don’t have the time to cook at home or even go grocery shopping. While regularly eating in restaurants is expensive, the actual cost of eating out is much more – we pay for it with our health.
Before I explain the harmful health effects of eating out, let me first show you how eating out affects the health of your wallet. Studies show that eating a meal at a restaurant is three times more expensive than cooking at home. The average cost of preparing a simple plate of rice, vegetables, dal, and chapati meal at home is ₹25. The same thali at a budget restaurant will be around ₹80 at least.
A meal at a fast-food restaurant can put you back by Rs 250, while you may have to shell out ₹500 per head at a good multi-cuisine restaurant around town.
When you eat out regularly, these numbers can add up quickly and make a massive dent in your monthly budget.
Cooking at home is not just cheaper; it is also healthier. When we choose our ingredients, we buy good quality products. We choose quality ingredients like organic dals and vegetables, healthy cooking oils, and fresh spices.
Home-cooked meals are healthier because we can control what goes into them: less salt, sugar, and fat and more nutrition. We can also manage our portion sizes much better as we are not encouraged to size up, which is a regular feature of fast food restaurants.
Here are some of the ways that restaurant food can cost your health –
- Many fast food meals and drinks are packed with carbohydrates and very little fibre, which can lead to insulin spikes. Over time this can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain.
- Restaurant and fast food meals have high salt content. High levels of sodium can elevate blood pressure and put a strain on your cardiovascular system.
- People who eat unhealthy fast food are more likely to have acne breakouts and eczema.
- Carbohydrates and sugar in fast food can increase acids in your mouth. This acid breaks down tooth enamel and can cause cavities.
- In restaurants, food comes in contact with packaging, gloves, and other material that contain phthalates. Phthalates are a class of chemicals that are known as endocrine disruptors. They can affect the hormones in the body.
Constant eating out is taking a toll on our health and that of our families. There are more obese kids in our schools now than ever before. And just because your child is thin does not mean he is healthy.
When you commit to healthy home-cooked meals, you commit to good health. Rather than paying for medical expenses later, spend your money on quality food and ingredients.
It is easy to shift to healthier food habits. Take it one step at a time. Here are some ways to change to home-cooked meals –
Keep it simple
Cooking a meal at home does not mean participating in Master Chef. Your goal is to avoid spending too much on restaurant food. So, keep your meals simple and nutritious.
Involve your family
To avoid getting overwhelmed with meal prep, involve your whole family. Get your children to set the table, clean the dishes and dry them. This is also an excellent way for them to learn life skills.
Pack healthy lunches for work and school
You are less likely to order takeout for lunch when you pack your lunch or a snack to take to work. Over time, it will save a substantial amount.
Make meals interesting
Instead of cooking the same dal, sabzi, and roti for every meal, shake up the menu every few days. Add some variety to your meals, like whole wheat pasta or homemade pizza, to get everyone excited about eating at home.
Mealawe, Pune’s own homemade food delivery service, provides healthy meals at your doorstep. Their talented home chefs serve you the same food they serve their families. Their food is affordable and comes with an added dose of nutrition and love.
Eat healthily – It is cheaper
Eating healthy homecooked meals is healthy and cheaper, both in the short-term and long run. All it takes is a little planning and some cooperation from your family. Make Mealawe a part of your family, order homemade food, and enjoy good health.