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Is fast food better for you than a sit-down restaurant meal? Study suggests yes

Is fast food better for you than a sit-down restaurant meal? Study suggests yes
When it comes to daily intake of sodium and cholesterol, new research shows fast food may be better for your body than dining in at a restaurant. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

If you believe sitting down to a meal at a restaurant is better for you than ordering takeout or grabbing fast food, the results of a new research study may surprise you.

According to research by the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, eating takeout or fast food may actually be better for your body than dinner at a restaurant.

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The research, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined data from more than 18,000 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys taken in 2003 to 2010. Data concerning overall calories and food and beverage consumption from fast food and full-service restaurants were highlighted.

The study's author, assistant professor Ruopeng An, found eating at restaurants tacked on an extra 58 mg of cholesterol each day, while eating fast food only added an extra 10 mg of cholesterol.

And when it came to a person's sodium intake, restaurants added 412 mg of sodium, while fast food added 297 mg.

An believes spending more time eating and relaxing at a restaurant may contribute to consuming more food when out.

And if you're eating that pizza on the couch, a waiter can't come by to ask you if you'd like to order the tiramisu for dessert.

But both fast food restaurants and full-service restaurants were found to add calories and fat to your daily intake of both.

The solution? In the study's conclusion, An suggested "a holistic policy intervention is warranted to target the American's overall dining-out behavior rather than fast-food consumption alone."

In other words, cook more at home.

More news you can sink your teeth into? Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_.

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