If you are satisfied avoiding junk food to avoid calories, but are gorging on restaurants meals, news for you as a new study has claimed that both are equally bad for your waistline.
Professor Ruopeng An at the University of Illinois analysed eight years of nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that eating at a restaurant is comparable to – or in some cases less healthy than – eating at a fast-food outlet.
While people who eat at restaurants tend to take in more healthy nutrients – including certain vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids – than those who eat at home or at a fast-food outlet, the restaurant diners also consume substantially more sodium and cholesterol.
Eating at a fast-food outlet adds about 300 milligrams of sodium to one’s daily intake, and restaurant dining boosts sodium intake by 412 milligrams per day, on average, An said. Recommendations for sodium intake vary between 1,500 and 2,300 milligrams per day, but Americans already consume more than 3,100 milligrams of sodium at home, he found.
He added that the additional sodium was even more worrisome because the average daily sodium intake was already so far above the recommended upper limit, posing a significant public health concern, such as hypertension and heart disease.
The obese also consumed more calories at fast-food restaurants, and took in more total energy, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium when eating at full-service restaurants than their normal-weight and overweight peers, An found.
An concluded that the findings reveal that eating at a full-service restaurant is not necessarily healthier than eating at a fast-food outlet. In fact, people may be at higher risk of overeating in a full-service restaurant than when eating fast-food.
The findings are reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.