Sometimes, restaurant made quesadillas may be just as bad for your health as burgers or fries.

Most people would expect that paying a premium fare and hefty tip is enough to enjoy a healthy meal while avoiding the hustle of actually cooking it, but a research in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition may convince you otherwise. The study shows that fancy dining is just as healthy as fast food.

The senior author of the study, Ruopeng An, claims that food consumed in the restaurant tends to contain just as much fat and sodium as those bought from a street vendor. At a restaurant, people do not tend to check calorie levels while they are more likely to overeat due to the increased prices compared to fast food.

Unlike major food chains, most restaurants are not required by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration to display the nutritional value of their meals, and most choose not to do so. The study reports that home cooking remains the best method to accurately keep track of what you are eating.

The study was conducted on 18.000 adult Americans and the results indicate that those who tended to eat more often in restaurants consumed almost 200 calories more per day than those that cooked for themselves, a value close to the difference between fast food and home cooking. The truth is, as dietitian Lori Rosenthal from the New York Montefiore Medical Center puts it, the only time we are in control of our nutritional intake is when we are preparing the meal ourselves.

However, for those who want to enjoy a fine dining with their family after a tiring day there are a number of things they can do to keep it relatively healthy. Full-service restaurants do tend to have a broad range of side dishes, so you can always order some steamed vegetables with that steak.

Furthermore, you can inquire about the details of your meals’ preparation and the waiter or even the chef should be more than glad to explain it. And if you accidentally ordered too much, you should refrain from overeating and instead ask the waiter to put it in a takeaway food box for you to store in the freezer for the next day.

No matter what you do, though, if you want to stay as healthy as possible the only solution seems to remain the same: turn on your cooker.

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