Could fast casual actually be worse than fast food?


We always tend to give fast food a bad rap when it comes to health, but a new study suggests that fast casual could actually be worse than fast food.

Fast food is often the poster child of unhealthy eating habits, while at the same time, many prop up fast casual food as a better alternative than the drive-thru.

Well, what if I told you that fast casual could actually be worse for your health than fast food? According to U.S. News & World Report, one study from the University of South Carolina suggests that may be the case.

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The study paid close attention to the calorie level of fast casual menu items, both for lunch and for dinner, and found that most, on average, has 760 calories; while a typical fast food meal had an average of 560 calories. Meaning, if you were to ingest a Big Mac meal from McDonald’s, you’ll be adding 200 calories less than you would a meal from somewhere like Longhorn Steakhouse.

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According to the study, a typical fast-casual menu has just as much, if not more high-calorie options. Now, the South Carolina study didn’t look at the nutrients part of fast casual menus, but researchers at both Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania did, and what they found will blow you away.

Most of the menu items at a fast-casual restaurant, the schools found, were high in both saturated fat and sodium. To put that into perspective, consuming a meal at a sit-down restaurant will allow you to ingest more salt than is recommended that you have in an entire day.

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So, while fast food is by no means a pillar of health, maybe its time that we admit that the steak you’re having at a fast-casual restaurant isn’t a good for your health, either.