A timely study comes to confirm that the best alternative to fast food or restaurant food is eating at home if we value our health.
As the FDA is looking to impose mandatory regulations on restaurants and fast foods alike regarding the obvious display of calories, sodium content, fats, carbs on menus, the new study draws a timely conclusion on the most health conscious choices regarding eating.
Home cooking topples eating at fast foods and restaurants. While typically junk food is associated with fast food as well, things look different when it comes to eating out in restaurants.
Although, the study says eating in restaurants or fast food chains pose the same health risks. These are associated with higher or above recommended levels of sodium, calories and fat then we are led to believe.
The study was conducted by Ruopeng An of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Professor of kinesiology and community health. Her study draws on data retrieved from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
A number of 18,000 U.S. citizens were surveyed regarding their eating habits and what they had eaten over a period of two days. The data was analyzed to reveal that approximately one third of those surveyed had eaten fast food on either one or both days. Another quarter of the participants stated that they had eaten at a restaurant either on one or both days.
Other participants in the survey declared that they ate home-cooked food. Compared to this group, it was found that the participants who ate fast food ingested on average 190 more calories, 3.5 g of saturated fat, an extra 10 mg of cholesterol, as well as and added 300 mg of sodium.
The participants who ate at restaurants were found to have consumed on average 187 calories more, as well as 10 added grams of fat, 2.5 of saturated fat, 400mg of sodium and 60 extra grams of cholesterol.
The study also indicated that people who have lower education usually eat out at fast food chains, the intake of calories coming predominantly from there. People in the middle-income category typically eat out in restaurants. Perhaps surprisingly, the majority of people diagnosed with obesity also eat out in restaurants.
The study should be sufficient proof to underpin the implementation of FDA regulations with view to the compulsory display of the calorie, sodium or fat intake, among other food components.
An independent analysis conducted by Wall St. found that the unhealthiest fast-food restaurant in the U.S. is Sonic. Based on nutritional information of each item on the menu across a number of restaurants and fast food chains, a list comprising the unhealthiest menu items emerged.
The study pitching home cooking as the healthiest nutrition choice was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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