Restaurants meals can be WORSE for you than cheap takeaways: Study finds fine dining is higher in fat and salt

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  • Restaurant meals have more vitamins, potassium and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • But restaurant diners eat 10g more fat daily than people who cook at home
  • Restaurant dining adds around 412mg of sodium per day to daily diet  
  • Home-cooked meals contain 200 calories less than restaurant equivalent

Restaurant meals can be just as bad for you as cheap fast-food takeaways, a study has found. They are just as bad for salt and cholesterol levels as burger bars, according to researchers. Home-cooked meals were healthiest of all, as people who cooked their own food ate around 200 calories less than those who bought their food outside. He found that while restaurant meals were healthier in terms of having more vitamins, potassium and Omega-3 fatty acids than fast food takeaways, restaurant diners ate substantially more sodium and cholesterol. Professor An said: ‘People who ate at full-service restaurants consumed significantly more cholesterol per day than people who ate at home.

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‘This extra intake of cholesterol, about 58mg per day, accounts for 20 per cent of the recommended upper bound of total cholesterol intake of 300mg per day.’ Fast food diners ate only an extra 10mg of cholesterol per day more than people who ate at home, he found. Fast food and restaurant diners ate 10 grams more total fat, and 3.49 grams and 2.46 grams, respectively, of saturated fat than those who dined at home. Recommended limits of saturated fats are around 13 grams of saturated fat a day, Professor An said. Fast food outlets add about 300mg of sodium – the part of salt that increases blood pressure – to one’s daily diet. Restaurant dining adds 412mg of sodium per day. ‘The additional sodium is even more worrisome because the average daily sodium intake among Americans is already so far above the recommended upper limit, posing a significant public health concern, such as hypertension and heart disease.’ US Recommendations for sodium intake vary between 1,500mg and 2,300mg a day, but the average American consumes more than 3,100 mg of sodium at home.

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