On a diet and want to go out to eat? Go to the Greek, not the Italian restaurant
If you really need to lose a couple of kilos of body fat, but want to go out for a meal, choose a Greek or Japanese restaurant. Avoid Italian or Chinese. We've distilled this advice from a study that American nutritionist Lorien Urban, of Tufts University, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The more you eat out in restaurants, the easier it is to put on weight. Whether you choose to go to a hamburger joint or a restaurant makes little difference, meals prepared outside the home always contain more calories than meals you make yourself.
But does the type of restaurant you go to make a difference? Whether it's an Italian or a Vietnamese restaurant? That's the question Urban set out to answer.
Between 2011 and 2014 the nutritionist bought a total of 364 meals in restaurants in different American cities, took them to a lab and measured the amount of calories they contained.
On average, the meals from Italian and Chinese restaurants contained the most calories. The meals from Greek and Japanese restaurants contained the least calories. The difference between an average meal from a Greek restaurant and one from an Italian restaurant is about five hundred calories.
Greek meals contain fewer calories above all because the portions were fairly modest, Urban discovered. The meals from Japanese restaurants contained few calories because of the relatively low fat content.
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2016 Apr;116(4):590-598.e6.
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