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The Obvious Health Habit American's are Lacking

January 7, 2011

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Are you or anyone you know trying to change your diet and eat healthier? Checking labels and asking what’s in the food on the menu? That’s great, but there’s a simple healthy habit that many American’s are forgetting about when it comes to eating better.

Food and health journalist and author of Food Matters, Mark Bittman, brings up a good point in his recent New York Times article looking at American eating habits—we hardly cook for ourselves! In his words, “Real food is cooked by real people!” It doesn’t seem surprising that real people are cooking less than ever before.

Cooking is becoming a skill of the past and many Americans barely know where to begin. Not knowing the basics of cooking sets us up for perpetuating the “convenience” habit of getting take-out, fast food and relying on heavily processed foods.

The easiest way to eat healthfully and control your diet is to make or prepare the food you eat for yourself (and/or your family). This way you know what you are putting into your body and you also can focus on eating combinations of whole foods (items with the least amount of processing). The average American clocks in 35 hours of television a week (ironically much of it spent watching cooking shows), so it doesn’t appear that lack of time is the real reason why people don’t cook.

If you don’t feel confident about cooking in your kitchen or living space, try to figure out how you can increase your cooking habits. You might even find that you get great satisfaction and actually enjoy preparing your own food. There are plenty of resources online that offer great recipes and educational videos on how to properly cook different kinds of foods and simple ways to prepare whole meals quickly. Check out this video of graduate and Top Chef Andrea Beaman!  

It can often be more gratifying to eat something that you’ve made, plus you can make something exactly how you like it. Cooking your own food doesn’t need to be complicated and it doesn’t need to take a lot of time. Check out Integrative Nutrition’s recipe collection for some simple, delicious recipes that will nourish your body and make your taste buds happy.

In the end it will save your health and your money!

Do you have any cooking tips to share?