If you grew up in the seventies, going out to McDonald’s or IHOP was a once in a while treat reserved for a birthday, or little league championship win. But these days, children and adults are spending more time and money on fast food than ever. The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) compared the source of calories in Americans’ diet during the seventies and in the first decade of the current millennium.
Unsurprisingly, less calories are being consumed at home. In fact, calories from fast food consumption almost quadrupled from 3.1% to 13.3% in just 30 years!
The problem with eating out of the home is that the nutrient density of the food is usually lower than even the worst meals at home. Foods tend to be higher in calories. Serving sizes are huge. Unhealthy fats are added liberally. Sodium levels are astronomical, sometimes reaching an entire day’s worth (2300 mg) in just one meal. Not to mention mostly low quality carbs and sugars. Additionally, most meals consumed in fast food joints and restaurants, even high end establishments, tend to be low in fiber and other important nutrients.
Want to beat the statistics?
Eat more food at home. Eat more food that was made at home. You’ll be able to control the ingredients and the portion size. You’ll probably save yourself some money too.