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The Benefits of Cooking and How to Start

Yiwen Lu, MS, RD, CPT
October 4, 2023
November 28, 2023

From improving health and boosting mindfulness to saving money and impressing your friends and family, cooking is definitely worth mastering. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of cooking and how to pick up this skill. Don't want to read? Skip the reading and watch this video instead!

The Benefits of Cooking

Cooking Improves Physical Health

Take charge of your ingredients and recipes by cooking at home so you can stick to a personalized, healthier meal plan.

We’ll be able to:

  • Choose fresher ingredients for better nutritional value
  • Avoid excess saturated fat, salt and sugar while cooking
  • Follow the portioned plate method, a guide based on the USDA Portioned plate to help us balance meals

All of the above helps with maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and improve overall health.

Cooking Improves Mental Health

Besides improving physical health, cooking is also the great for the mind.

  • It promotes mindful eating. Cooking is awesome because it helps us make healthier choices for our health when we know what goes into our meals.
  • It promotes sense of accomplishment. If you’ve never cooked. You need to try it! Nothing feels better than enjoying the foods that you made with your own hands! It almost feels like watching a flower grow and bloom!
  • It improves social connections. Sharing is caring, and can definitely foster positive relationships and help strengthen the bond between you and your loved ones.

Cooking At Home Is Inexpensive

Looking to save some cash? Try buying groceries in bulk and cooking at home—it's an easy way to cut costs.

So after you’ve learned how to cook, you can practice meal prep if it fits your lifestyle. Trust me, it will save you a lot of bucks! It will also help you stay on track on healthy eating better.

If a healthy meal is already prepared and right in front of you, there’s a lower chance that you’ll give-in to your cravings and go the extra mile to order that fried chicken.

How to Pick Up This Skill?

Don’t know where to start? Follow these 5 simple steps:

  1. Learn the basics: Learn how to safely prepare and store foods, including food safety temperatures. Learn how to use cooking equipments safely, including cutting knives, stove top, oven, air fryer, rice cooker, etc.
  2. Find reliable tutorials: From in-person cooking classes and workshop to cookbooks and online videos, there are tons of resources out there. If you prefer in-person tutorials, simply search “local cooking classes” or “free local cooking classes“ on Google if you’re on a budget. If you enjoy watching tutorials online, just go to YouTube and there are a bunch of resources. If you like personalization and want to save your recipes, you can also consider downloading related apps to your phone. Go to the app store, and search “recipe.” Explore and see which one you likes to use the most!
  3. Keep practicing: Start with simple recipes to build up your confidence. Then, keep practicing until you are comfortable will your cooking skills.
  4. Experiment with flavors and ingredients: Once you are equipped with basic cooking knowledge, you will be able to adjust the recipe yourself to suit your taste buds and culture more!
  5. Ask for feedback: Ask your friends and family to provide feedback so you can continue to improve.

Takeaways

Learning to cook takes time and patience, but is also an enjoyable journey. Cooking benefits both your body and mind. It’s simple, too! Just learn the basics, find reliable recipes, and keep practicing!  Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors and ingredients, and ask for feedback! Once you have mastered this valuable skill, you will be able to provide yourself and your loved ones delicious and nutritious meals for many years to come.

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