Home cooking is always the best method to control the fat, calories, sugar and other nutrients we generally consume outside, a study at U.S. suggests.

The main predictors include the daily intake of fast food and restaurant food, differentiated by eating it at home or away from home.

Ruopeng An, professor with an expertise in kinesiology and community health, gave a statement stressing that while people are well aware of the unhealthy nature of fast food products, with many referring to them as “junk food”, few are aware of the dangers posed by full-service restaurant products. However, people are unaware that much of the food that is provided by the “full-service” establishments is similar in quality to that of fast food.

The Author used information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which collects health and nutritional information every day from a representative sample of the USA population. A third of them said they had eaten fast food on one or even both days and one-quarter had eaten in a restaurant on at least one day.

People who eat at full-service restaurants are consuming almost as many calories as fast food customers.

Food consumed at home resulted in 80 calories less in average, with less fat and 80 milligrams less of sodium.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires restaurants with 20 or more locations to provide calorie and nutrient content in the menu labeling.

In the opinion of the researchers, the food served at different restaurants poses higher health risks as it tends to increase calories, fats and sodium in our bodies which has profound effects on human health. Well, we often think that an expensive meal in our favorite restaurant is much better than eating burgers and French fries, but we all thought wrong.

Participants who were obese were also more likely to consume extra calories from full-service restaurants compared to people who were normal weight or overweight.

Lori Rosenthal, dietitian over at the Montefiore Medical Center (New York City), was not involved in the study but gave a statement explaining the difference between full-service restaurant meals and home cooked meals.

She said, “Before heading to a restaurant look up the menu online”. Also, “Choose dishes that contain vegetables (i.e. veggie omelet, kabobs or pasta primavera) or request they be added”.

“When we prepare our own meals we know exactly what the foods we are eating contain”, Rosenthal said. She presents the idea that vegetables simply add bulk to the meal which not only is satisfying, but reduces excessive calorie intake.

Rosenthal also left a piece of advice to the consumers – she emphasized that people should be mindful, enjoy the meal as well as to slow down and take time to chew, taste and savor the food you’re eating.