Ten years back, when the concept of Swiggy and Zomato did not exist, the culture of eating out was limited to physically going out for a meal. For most of us, this was not a regular affair as eating at home was the mandate.
Then came a time, when restaurants began home delivery for a nominal cost of Rs. 10. However, eating from a restaurant was still a luxury, we seldom had the luxury to avail. Then followed the revolution of home delivery with online services like Zomato and Swiggy.
While the revolution has helped solved many problems of people living alone and increased basic accessibility to food. There is a downside to it. A recent study suggests, that the reason behind most of your ailments could be the hidden behind the number of times you eat out. According to the study, the number of times you eat out could be linked to increasing the risk of all possible causes of death.
For the purpose of the study, Nutritionists and dieticians studied a group of 2,781 death cases. Of these, 511 had occurred from cardiovascular diseases and 638 from cancer. The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
"Our findings from this large nationally representative sample of US adults show that frequent consumption of meals prepared away from home is significantly associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality," said researcher Yang Du from the University of Iowa in the US.
Though the fact that some restaurants provide high-quality food cannot be ignored, a meal prepared away from home was in general considered to be of lower quality. Especially, fast-food chains, where food is prepared on high flame, or generally fried.
Study into the matter has proved that, meals cooked outside of home tend to be high in energy density, fat and sodium. But lower in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They also fail to provide protective nutrients such as dietary fibres and antioxidants.
Conducted over a long duration, the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey were held from 1999-2014. The researchers looked into the data acquired from administering questions to 35,084 individuals aged 20 years or older.
Easy meals to cook at home
It is understandable that many might not have the option to cook at home or even afford help at home. But eating food prepared at home goes a long way in ensuring a healthy and happy life.
Here are a few healthy meal ideas that could help solve your meal problems.
The respondents were asked questions about their eating habits which included frequency of meals prepared at home and meals consumed from outside.
During following up with the 291,475 people, 2,781 deaths had occurred, including 511 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 638 deaths from cancer.
"Emerging, although still limited, evidence suggests that eating out frequently is associated with increased risk of chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes and biomarkers of other chronic diseases," said lead investigator Wei Bao from the varsity.
"However, little is known about the association between eating meals away from home and risk of mortality," Bao added.
Future studies are still needed to look more closely at the association of eating out with death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and other chronic diseases, the researchers said.
Sprouts: Sprouts are a protein-backed meal idea that is both easy to procure and prepare. A variety of grams and beans are available in the market that adds variety to your meals. These beans can be consumed as both salads or soups for both lunch and dinner.
Here's how you can make your beans:
Sprouts salad: Soak beans overnight, and drain the water the next morning. Keep covered in a warm place for sprouts to appear. Next, steam the sprouts and wait until they are soft. Add chopped onion and tomatoes, along with salt and spices to make a salad. Garnish with coriander.
Sprouts soup: In a vessel, soal beans for a while. Add salt and pepper to the water and cook in the cooker. Remove and let it cool. Garnish with coriander and relish with bread.
Baked stuffed vegetables
For the stuffing, prepare a mix of shredded cabbage, garlic, onion and tomato. Spice it with oregano, mixed herbs and some chilly flakes. Saute the mix until the mixture is cooked. Add some cheese according to your preference. Store in the fridge for future use.
For the vegetables, choose from options like peppers or zucchini. Slice the vegetable in half and de-seed. Preheat the over to 150 degrees. Now add the stuffing to the vegetable and sprinkle some oil and herbs. Garnish with some cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and ensure the vegetable is cooked.
Grilled chicken/ fish
Grilled chicken and fish, both are excellent options for protein. Marinate the meat with herbs, salt and pepper. Top it up with some lemon juice. Grill the meat in either an oven or a pan with minimum oil.
Eat with a side of tossed veggies.
Apart from this, other options could be to eat vegetable soup or legume soup. Rice with grilled chicken or paneer, coupled with a sauce. Stir fried rice with vegetables.
Important to remember
Cooking food on high flame kills the nutrients and hence is essential to cook on medium flame. Add only necessary amount of oil, as excessive oil could increase the cholesterol in food. Additionally, adding a hard boiled to your meal can help you feel full more quickly and hence, should be considered as a viable sider.
(Quotes from IANS)