Study Finds Restaurant Food Unhealthier than Fast Food
When it comes to eating out, many people assume that a nice meal in a restaurant would be considerably healthier than grabbing something at a fast food outlet.
However, according to a new study, eating at either establishment can lead to far more calories being consumed than eating a home-prepared meal.
Published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study found that Americans who ate out, whether at a full-service restaurant or fast food outlet, typically consumed 200 calories more per day than when they ate at home.
Study author Ruopeng An said: "These findings reveal that eating at a full-service restaurant is not necessarily healthier than eating at a fast-food outlet. In fact, you may be at higher risk of overeating in a full-service restaurant than when eating fast food."
The study analysed the eating habits of some 18,098 Americans using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for 2003-2010.
Perhaps surprisingly, individuals who ate at full-service restaurants consumed significantly more cholesterol than those who ate at home – up to 58mg per day more in some cases.
Despite the increased cholesterol intake, though, people who ate at full-service restaurants also consumed more healthy nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and potassium.
The study also revealed that eating out at restaurants increased a person’s daily sodium intake. This is also worrying as many Americans already consume above the upper recommended sodium limit on a daily basis and this poses several health concerns, such as heart disease and hypertension.
So the next time you’re in a restaurant and deciding what to eat, think twice before ordering something that is going to have a detrimental effect on your health.