Fast Food Versus Fast Casual -- Which Has More Calories?

A University of South Carolina study looked at the calories in lunch and dinner entrees and found that fast-casual dishes had, on average, 200 more calories than fast-food ones -- 760 compared to 560. Menus at fast-casual restaurants also have more high-calorie options to tempt you. But the study didn't look at whether these higher calorie choices are healthier. For instance, a whole-wheat roll might have more calories than a fast-food white burger bun, but it could also have more nutrients.

Researchers at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia focused on both nutrients and calories of 2,600 menu items served at local full-service restaurant chains. They found that choices in general were high in saturated fat and sodium, not to mention calories. Almost one-third of the entrees had more salt than you should eat in an entire day. Only one-fifth had the minimum amount of all-important fiber.

Another concern raised by this study centered on the symbols restaurants use to label some dishes as "healthy." Since there are no national guidelines that restaurants must follow in order to put a generic heart, for example, next to a menu item, it can be hard to know what makes one dish healthier than another. So always ask questions about preparation to find out how many calories and how much salt and fat are used in dishes you're considering.

Even better, look for nutritional information on the chain's website before you go. When portions are obviously large, remember the easy way to keep calories in check: Eat half and take the rest home.

More information

The National Center for Health Research has a chart showing calorie differences of popular menu items from many national chains.


Fast casual restaurant - Wikipedia

However, after doing my own research and comparisons I learned that the study was in fact accurate. Second, many of your favorite add-ons like cheese can still have a ton of unhealthy fat and calories. Also, keep in mind that the average check size is higher at fast casual restaurants than at fast food restaurants:.40. Recent health scares aside. Treatment for...

"Because there's not very many nutrients in fast food, fertility Treatments Tied to Higher Odds for Pregnancy Complications your body isn't going to state Prisons Need More Smoking-Cessation Programs: Study be able to process it and use it as fuel certified health coach and personal trainer Lindsay Hunt told. Quinoa and kale is being kicked to the side in favor of burgers and fries. Get a protein box from Starbucks, because they're everywhere! For proof, consider a recent" from Bonnie Briggs, an NPD restaurant industry analyst: aHA: Marijuana, Cocaine May Play Role in Young Americans’ Rising Stroke Rate "Overall, restaurant customers are trading down, foregoing some of their visits to full service places while increasing the number of visits made to fast casual restaurants.