You might think that making dinner plans too often would be bad for you. After all, some restaurant meals could heap large amounts of sodium and fat into your diet and the cost could add up. But not all restaurant food is bad for you, and dinners cooked at home can bring families together over delicious, nourishing food. In fact, according to studies, eating meals with friends and loved ones can actually help you live longer.
Merrick McCartha et al. sitting at a table eating food: Eating Meals With Friends Could Help You Live Longer
© istockphoto.com Eating Meals With Friends Could Help You Live Longer
Whether it’s due to busy work schedules, sad desk lunches or the simple realities of living alone, many people don’t eat in the company of others. A report from the research firm NPD showed that about half of America’s meals are consumed in solitude. But this has worse effects than just loneliness at the dinner table. A study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that those who eat meals alone tend to eat fewer nutritious foods. Primarily eating foods that lack important nutrients can cause negative health effects over time, whether from nutrient deficiencies or other complications.
So pick up the phone and call your friends (or your mom). Make some dinner plans. The benefits of eating among friends are just some of the many things people over 50 should know about their health.