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Why is it healthier to eat at home than to eat at a restaurant?

Mary Mullen
Nutrition & Dietetics
A meal at home can save you time and money, and, if you do the cooking, it can cut your calorie budget in half. For starters, eating at home reduces time spent driving back and forth to restaurants and waiting for your order. Also, home-cooked meals typically cost much less than carryout or fastfood meals. However, the main advantage to preparing and eating meals at home is the calorie savings. When you make the meal, you can control how much butter, oil, sugar, and salt are added to food. Plus, eating at home lets you scale down portion sizes. For example, a plate of lasagna at a restaurant might provide 850 calories, 47 grams of fat, and 2,830 milligrams of sodium (salt). In comparison, a portion of a frozen lasagna is a healthier choice (1½ cups contains 495 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 765 milligrams of sodium), and a homemade version is best of all (1 cup has 265 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 595 milligrams of sodium).
Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

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Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight for Kids and Teens

In a world of fast food, supersized sodas, and televised temptations, this guide shows how to buck the obesity trend currently in the national spotlight—and have fun doing it. Using a family...
In today's world, eating out is a frequent activity. It is faster and easier for us. But the truth is, eating at home is usually a much better choice. Research shows that we consume more calories, fat, and sodium and less nutritious foods when we eat out instead of at home. We have more control over what goes into our food when we are in our own kitchen. Portion sizes are usually larger away from home too.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.