Hold that extra serving of fancy pasta—a recent study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutritionsays that dining out at a sit-down restaurant can mean more sodium and nearly as much saturated fat as eating at a fast food joint. This time, it’s not just about what kind of food. It’s also about how much of it you consume.
“People regard fast food as junk food and tend to believe that full-service restaurants are better in terms of quality and healthiness,” says Ruopeng An, an assistant professor of kinesiology and community health, and the author of the study.
Data was gathered via two-part interviews, where survey participants were asked to first recall their previous meals in the last 24 hours, then follow up with reports on the other meals they had previously via measuring spoons, cups, and other tools to measure their intake.
From here, Ruopeng measured nutrient intake (fat, saturated fat, sodium, sugar, etc.). He found out that a full-service restaurant added more to one’s daily sodium intake than a home-cooked meal and yes, a fast food meal.