Should you stop and pick up that burger, or sit down for what seems like a healthier meal at a full-service restaurant? The belief that the sit down restaurant is automatically the healthier option seems to be ingrained in many of us. However, studies are showing you might be better off with the burger. A recent US study, which studied more than 2,600 menu items at full-service restaurant chains, showed that these restaurant spots exceeded the recommended calories, sodium and saturated fat for a single meal. Researchers also found that meals with an adult entree, side dish, and shared appetizer averaged a whopping 1,495 calories, 28 grams of saturated fat, 3,312 milligrams of sodium, and 11 grams of fiber. Add in a drink of dessert, and the total comes in at around 2,000 calories. Basically, you are consuming your days’ worth of calories in one meal.
While it’s true that many full-service restaurants now offer healthier, lower-calorie dishes, they do not offer the variety that fast-food restaurants do. A study published in February 2013 showed that over the last five years, fast food chains have served 472 billion lower-calorie foods and beverages and 13 billion fewer servings of higher calorie fare like French fries.