Eating out is one of the regular family traditions in almost all households across the country. As restaurant meals are believed to be healthier than fast food, these meals are often go-to choices of parents whenever they dine out. However, a study confirms restaurant meals can just be as fattening as their fast food counterparts.
According to Tech Times, a research that has been conducted at the University of Illinois have recently established how more than 18,000 adult individuals have experienced an increase in their calorie intake by 200 calories per day whenever they dine out at a full-service restaurant. Although restaurant meals are discovered to have more vitamins and minerals when compared to fast food meals or eating at home, they are also found to have higher amounts of cholesterol and sodium.
Lead researcher Ruopeng An explained that individuals who eat at full-service restaurants are consuming 58 milligrams. of cholesterol on their meal alone, and this amount can already account for 20 percent of the recommended daily cholesterol allowance of 300 mg. Significantly, eating at a restaurant can add 300 mg of sodium each day to the recommended allowance of 1500 to 2300 mg, making an average American consume a total of 3100 mg of sodium each day.
ReliaWire Health News adds that according to Professor An, the findings revealed the devastating truth that restaurant meals are not as healthy as people think. Furthermore, they may even increase the risk of overeating among patrons compared to people who eat in a fast food outlet.
Experts like dietitian Lori Rosenthal from the Montefiore Medical Center encourages individuals to cook their own meals as they would know exactly what they put in their food, thus making them in control of the portion, nutrients and taste. She adds that if eating out is the only option, then checking the menu online can be a proactive measure so that individuals may know what they are consuming.
The Standard Daily reports further that besides cholesterol and sodium, fat is also consumed in an alarming amount when individuals eat out. Restaurants and fast foods are discovered to add 10 grams of saturated fat, 3.49 g. from restaurants and 2.46 g. from fast food chains, than when individuals eat at home.
The researchers suggest that it will be healthier to prepare own meals and eat at home whenever possible to avoid eating too much and developing medical conditions associated with high sodium, cholesterol and saturated fats consumption.
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