One More Reason to Eat Home-Cooked Meals

Going out to dinner might be easy, but it’s not necessarily healthy.

Photo by Tetra Images - Jessica Peterson/Getty Images

While eating out may relieve you of dish duty, it could have serious health implications, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension. After surveying 501 university students in Singapore, researchers found that a tendency to dine out was linked with prehypertension, a condition marked by elevated blood pressure that is often a precursor to hypertension.

After studying each participant’s blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and lifestyle, the researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore found that about 27 percent of people had prehypertension, and of that population, 38 percent ate at least 12 meals away from their homes every week. In addition to frequenting restaurants, those with prehypertension also had higher BMIs, smoked regularly, and weren’t very physically active.

Of course, 12 meals per week might seem high and easily avoidable, but researchers found another surprising link: even eating out for one extra meal increased the likelihood of prehypertension by 6 percent.

If cooking at home seems like an intimidating task, here are 10 secrets that will make your time in the kitchen less stressful—plus a foolproof strategy for getting dinner on the table.