Are “Healthy” Recipes Bad for Your Diet?

DSCN1727As a fitness expert and weight loss writer, I often recommend that dieters cook at home if they want to improve their eating habits. When you cook your own food, it’s easier to know exactly what is in each dish and you can use simple techniques to decrease the fat and calorie content of your meals.  But a research study out of Cornell University raises questions about whether or not home-cooked meals are as healthy as we think.

Research Reveals Recipe Trends

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, evaluated recipes in the popular cookbook The Joy of Cooking.  Researchers found that since 1936 the calorie content of similar recipes has increased. In addition, portion sizes for many recipes has increased as well.

The study authors suggest that this trend is due to a change in “prevailing tastes and norms.”  That just means we’ve  gotten used to fatter, larger portions over the years.

How to Eat Healthier Meals

Cooking at home is still a good idea if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body.  But just because a meal comes out of your own kitchen doesn’t mean that it is necessarily healthy or that you can eat any amount of food that you want.

If you love to cook, look for recipe books that contain nutritional information.  The popular Betty Crocker Cookbook contains nutritional information, and many online recipe sources like also include essential information about the calorie, fat, salt and sugar content of many recipes.

You should also pay attention to your portion size no matter where you eat.  Download our handy guide for estimating serving sizes to evaluate the amount of food you eat at every meal.

Looking for other healthy changes you can make to improve your health? Check out the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website?  It’s a great source of easy tips for healthy eating, exercise and diet support.  You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


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