Money

Why home cooking is better for your health (and your wallet)

Eat Healthy Saudi

Obesity and diabetes is on the rise in the Middle East. According to a report conducted by the Saudi Health Ministry, 25% of Saudis are diabetic, with that figure expected to rise over the years.

Frederik Kier of global healthcare company Novo Nordisk is trying to bring awareness to the Kingdom by setting up a training course for Saudi pharmacists to educate them on diabetes and the best ways to tackle the problem.

Obviously, exercising and losing weight are two key features in ensuring you lower you risk in the fight against diabetes.

But many people complain that eating right and getting fit is too expensive. And when a fast food meal costs SAR 20, it can be easy to justify that claim. With the average weekly grocery shop costing around SAR 90, you may think you’re saving money by going for the cheaper option.

The thing is, that’s not always correct; in the long run, eating out all of the time will not only damage your health but also your wallet.

Saudi Arabia has been ranked number 59 out of 209 countries for being a cost-effective place to live, and residents can find themselves living large for little money. Basic expenditures every month can be as little as SAR 1,500, and finding a meal for SR 10 is not an uncommon thing.

However, eating out adds to that number. On average, monthly food bills when you cook every (healthy) meal yourself are around SAR 357.88. But if you eat out once a week and order a takeaway twice a week a month, that number swells to SAR 581.24.

On an annual basis, that means that cost always buying your own food amounts to around SAR 4,300. But adding costs for eating out into the equation takes your annual food bill to almost SAR 6,700. You could buy an iPhone with the difference that you would save.

The added bonus is that, if you cook your own meals, you can make the meals as healthy as possible. When eating out, even if you’re ordering from a healthy joint, your meal could still be packed with sugar, salt or starch.

As a result, cooking for yourself holds health and money benefits that no-one can deny.

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