Do you ever think what’s in your food when you eat? I’m sure most people don’t. Their only concern is it should be tasty and satiate their hunger, whether it is homemade or processed food. As life is getting busier and hectic, so is the consumption of processed foods on the rise, especially in America. Is that good? Let’s find out for ourselves.
Defining these two:
Anything that’s been made at your home is homemade food. Sometimes it is also called as ‘Real food’. It doesn’t have any nutritional facts labels and is not packaged. Mostly, it is cooked and served instantly. Whereas, processed foods are those in which extra ingredients are added like preservatives, additives etc. and most of which are packed. All this is done to increase their shelf life and attractiveness.
Recognizing processed foods:
While it’s easy to know what homemade food is, sometimes you might get confused with processed foods. Well, it is found in boxes, cans, packets etc. It has been altered from its natural state and you can see nutritional labels on the package. It contains chemicals, most of which you can’t pronounce.
So which one is cheaper?
It is easy to deduce this because homemade food saves a lot of money than eating fast food and at restaurants. We pay extra for the additives in processed foods, we pay extra for the cost of running of the restaurants; the electricity bills, staff salary etc. All this makes homemade foods cheaper for us.
If we ourselves have to cook the homemade food, then comparatively, we save time by eating the processed food as it is readymade for us. But if we are going to get the homemade food readily from our mother or another family member, there should not be much difference in time-saving. Most people have processed foods primarily to save time because they have so less time to spare from their hectic work schedules.
Comparison of Ingredients:
Preparing our own food enables us to control what exactly and how much of it will be going inside us. That is not the case with processed foods. They contain high levels of salts, fats, sugars, sodium etc. and also many artificial flavors, preservatives, emulsifiers etc. All that to make it visually appealing! And increase their storage life. On the other hand, processed foods have fewer amounts of some useful ingredients like micronutrients, fibers etc.
Various studies have proved that people who have home cooked foods consume fewer calories than those who have fast foods. They also get healthier and natural ingredients as the fast foods contain many artificial additives which also affect the composition of the natural and healthy ingredients in them.
If there are any food allergies in you or your family member, it is easy to avoid or control that with home cooked foods as you have total control over it and what all is in it.
You also have control over the portion and quantity of food that you get to consume every time. Our hunger and moods differ every day, but not the food quantity that we will get in packaged form or in restaurants. There are chances of extra food and hence, money wastage in processed foods; whereas in homemade, you get to serve only that which you exactly want to eat, thus saving food, money, time etc.
Processed food consumption is affecting children and they are getting obese by the day. The food might be tastier and irresistible, but in the long term, the many artificial additives in processed foods adversely affect our health.
In the end, it is up to you to choose your preferences. But many health experts, nutritionists, and doctors will always recommend eating natural and home cooked foods as much as you can. All though processed foods are not completely bad, occasionally it will be good to enjoy them to your heart’s content! For a change. But we should always prioritize our health over our cravings.