Sure, this is the week to start those New Year's resolutions, and many of us are thinking about hitting the gym or trying that new fad diet to shed holiday pounds.
How about, though, simply resolving to eat more real food cooked by those you know best -- you! That's the suggestion of New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman in this article which notes that home-cooked foods contain, on average, 31.5% of calories from fat compared to an average of 37.6% of calories for restaurant foods.
Here are some more statistics that I've culled through my own years of reporting.
* Nearly half of all food dollars is spent on food eaten away from home, according to Center for Science in the Public Interest. That food represents one-third of all calories in the average American's diet.
* Restaurant fare averaged 18% more calories than the stated values on the menu, according to a January 2010 Tufts University study. Likewise, calorie counts on 10 frozen meals purchased from supermarkets averaged 8% more calories than stated on the label.
* An average fast food meal contains about 1000 calories; that 32-oz Big Gulp of regular soda from 7-11 will set you back 425 calories.
* Family meals at home lower a teenager's risk of developing an eating disorder, according to a University of Minnesota study which found that teen girls who eat five family meals at home every week have one-fourth the risk of developing extreme weight control strategies.
Think you don't have time to cook every night? Think again. Americans at a healthy weight spend just 6.8 minutes a day, on average, shopping for groceries and preparing meals than overweight Americans, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
And here are some more recipes for healthy eating from the Globe's own food editor, Sheryl Julian
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