Who doesn’t enjoy an evening out at a restaurant with family and friends? The perks of eating outside fancy everyone. However those conscious of their calories should have a look at this. Researchers at the American Cancer Society have found that eating at restaurants is linked with higher daily total energy intake and poorer dietary indicators.
The findings from the study suggest that adults increase their total daily intake by about 200 additional calories when they ate, irrespective of eating at full-service restaurants or fast food joints. ‘Our study confirms that adults’ fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption was associated with higher daily total energy intake and poorer dietary indicators,’ said Binh Nguyen from American Cancer Society.
The data was collated from a 2003 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey including more than 12,000 respondents between the ages 20 and 64.The study found that on days when eating at a fast-food restaurant, there was a net increase of total energy intake (194.49 kcal), saturated fat (3.48 g), sugar (3.95 g) and sodium (296.38 mg).
Eating out at a full-service restaurant was also found to be associated with a higher intake of saturated fat (2.52 g) and sodium (451.06 mg). The study appeared online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
Incorporate healthy even when eating outside
It becomes extremely difficult to stick to your health conscious self, when eating out with friends or family. Here are a few tips to help you stick to ‘healthy’ while still having a great time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the ingredients and how the food was cooked. You also can ask to leave some items out or replace them with healthier choices.
- When placing an order, choose items that will have less fat or added sugar. Avoid deep –fried foods instead opt for foods that are steamed, broiled, baked, roasted, poached, or lightly sautéed or stir-fried
- Replace the cream on that cup of coffee with low-fat or fat-free milk
Restaurant meals can be designed to maintain the healthy quotient. Build around what is healthy yet tasty. You can make healthy choices throughout your meal, just:
- Share your meal, or take half home for later
- Skip dessert or order fruit
- Split dessert with a friend