New Study On The Hassles Vs. The Benefits Of The Home Cooked Meal

Share Button

Thank you to PRWeb for supplying this article discussing how the blog eHealthPath.com examined a study from sociologists at North Carolina State University regarding the hassles and benefits of planning, creating and serving a family meal daily.

healthyheartDetermining whether or not families who sit down together for at least one daily meal are healthier than families who eat on the run has weighed heavily on busy parents for decades. In a new blog dated Oct. 1, 2014 titled “Benefits vs. Hassles of Home Cooked Meals,” eHealthPath.com blogger Liz Ernst addresses a new study titled “The Joy of Cooking?” that finds the chore of cooking family meals might be asking too much of already overstretched parents.

The study, written and published by North Carolina State University Sociologists Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott and Joslyn Brenton, finds that time limitations, financial constraints, and the “feeding challenges that shape the family meal” might make the chore of cooking a family dinner too burdensome for parents, or more specifically, women.

The research findings show that the ideal of home cooking and family meals place undue stresses on many families, and are simply unachievable to others.

According to Bowen, an associate professor of sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper on the ongoing study, the study’s purpose is to understand the relationship between the ideal (of the family meal) that is presented in popular culture and the realities that people live with when it comes to feeding their children.

Study researchers interviewed 150 female caregivers in families with children between the ages of 2 and 8, and conducted in-depth observations of 12 of these families for a total of 250 hours. Their findings conclude that middle-class, working-class and poor families face some similar challenges, and that mothers from all backgrounds reported difficulty in finding time to prepare meals that everyone in the family would be willing to eat.

Input from mothers involved in the study include the struggle some say they feel between their desire to spend quality time with their children and the expectation to provide a home cooked meal routinely. Financial concerns also play a prominent role in meal planning, as many middle-class mothers often worry about their inability to afford fresh and organic foods for their meals.

Poor families face the toughest limitations, citing an inability to afford items like fresh produce or the kitchen tools they need to prepare meals, and to obtain transportation to and from the grocery store.

According to Bowen, poor mothers often skip meals and stand in long lines at non-profit food pantries to provide food for their children, which makes the idea of home cooked meal making seem unrealistic.

In her eHealthPath blog, Ernst offers suggestions from these and other study authors for overcoming many of the barriers modern families face in incorporating the family meal into their daily routines, and the many benefits doing so can provide. To read the blog in full, visit eHealthPath.com blog.

About eHealthPath.com:

Designed by a team of passionate foodies and healthy lifestyle devotees, eHealthPath.com offers a fresh outlook on meal preparation, nutrition and the virtues of eating well. Armed with a firm belief that the kitchen is the most important room in the home, the eHealthPath team provides online on-demand cooking courses for everyone—from fast food junkies and kitchen skeptics to serious cooks. Real food for real life, presented in a bright, structured curriculum and packed with exciting new ways to think about food, flavor and nutrition.

Whole Foods Vs. Supplements – Are Whole Foods Really Enough?

Share Button

By Jordan Layton

vitaminsSupplements have become tremendously popular in recent years, not only among athletes, but also among everyday people seeking the keys to youth, vitality and longevity. It seems there isn’t a disease or ailment in existence that can’t be prevented by regular consumption of a specific vitamin, mineral, herb or other nutrient. With so many different products on the market, you might find yourself wondering if it’s even possible to optimize your health without the use of supplements.

The Benefits of Whole Foods

Fortunately, the answer to that question is yes. By eating a variety of the right whole foods, you can achieve high levels of dietary health and physical fitness. In fact, research finds that whole foods are actually a far better option than supplements alone. The reason for this is what is known as Food Synergy or Nutritional Synergy.

Food Synergy

The vitamins and minerals found in a given food are not the only ingredients that offer health benefits.

The vitamins and minerals found in a given food are not the only ingredients that offer health benefits. They are interlinked with various other biological compounds. This interactive system of commonly known nutrients and their counterparts is believed to be the real source of nutrition, not just the vitamins and minerals themselves.

For example, the phytonutrient Lycopene (most notably found in tomatoes) was discovered to help prevent prostate cancer. Interestingly, studies tracking the use of synthetic Lycopene supplements have provided inconclusive results with regard to cancer prevention. But studies focusing on the consumption of tomato sauce consistently showed that just two servings a week could reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 23%.

The Biological Web of Nutrition

Essentially, what researchers are finding is that calcium, vitamin C and pretty much all other nutrients are not solely responsible for the benefits they are expected to provide. It is the combination of said nutrients and their entire biological web of interlinking compounds that give our bodies the nourishment they need. Supplements offer just one link in that complex chain. You wouldn’t expect a plant to grow without sunshine and water. Likewise, you can’t expect five oranges worth of vitamin C tablets to provide you with the same nutritional benefits as five actual oranges would.

Supplements Step In

That’s not to say that supplements are unhealthy or even useless. It’s just that they were never meant to replace nutrients that are available in whole foods. The intended use of a supplement is communicated in its name. It’s meant to supplement your diet and provide some nutrition where there might be a deficiency. Used in this way, they make an excellent addition to your whole foods diet.
Bio

– Jordan Layton is a professional health and wellness writer for Sports Nutrition.