People who eat home-cooked food are healthier as they eventually consume fewer calories than those who eat outside food or cook less at home to eat, says a study.
Those who frequently cooked at home, at least six nights a week, actually consumed fewer calories compared to the timings when they ate out, showed the findings.
"When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight," said study author Julia Wolfson from the Johns Hopkins University in the US.
The researchers analysed data from the 2007-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from more than 9,000 participants aged 20 and older.
The researchers found that eight percent of adults cooked dinner once or less a week and this group consumed, on an average day, 2,301 total calories, 84 grams of fat and 135 grams of sugar.
Forty-eight percent of participants cooked dinner six to seven times a week and they consumed 2,164 calories, 81 grams of fat and 119 grams of sugar on an average day.
The researchers also found that those who cook at home rely less frequently on frozen foods and are also less likely to choose fast foods on the occasions when they eat out.
"The evidence shows people who cook at home eat a more healthy diet," Wolfson added. The study will be published online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.