There has been a general assumption that all fast food is harmful and if you want to eat out without harming your health or putting on weight, you should head to what is known as a ‘sit-down’ restaurant. As the name suggests, fast food is intended to cater to people’s needs quicker and provide them an appetizing meal within minutes. The meals at sit-down restaurants are more elaborate and take time to prepare. But the question still remains: is there really a difference between fast food restaurants and sit-down restaurants? Let’s look at some factors to determine the answer to this question:
The Quantity of Food
It is perceived that since you eat quicker when opting for fast food, you tend to eat more without even realizing it. This is true to some extent but the situation is not much different at sit-down restaurants. The portions they serve are smaller but as soon as you are seated at your table, you are served an appetizer, such as a bread basket, which is refilled free of cost, so you start eating almost immediately. Not to mention, these appetizers are not calorie-free and add to your intake. Needless to say, this option is not available at fast food restaurants.
The other thing to keep in mind is that at a fast food joint, you eat your meal all at once. For instance, the typical meal you buy includes fries and a burger with a beverage. Once you are done eating it, you have to buy a new meal because there is no more food coming your way. When eating at a sit-down restaurant, you are served multiple courses. You get an appetizer, as mentioned above, an entrée, and even dessert. Also, you can have your choice of beverage. So, in terms of the quantity of food you eat, there isn’t much difference.
The Nutritional Value
The nutritional value of your meal is where you might find the actual difference between fast food restaurants and sit-down restaurants. Fast food joints generally use processed ingredients for their products. Only a few leading fast food joints actually prepare their food from scratch. The others simply order the stuff they need. As you would know, the nutritional value of processed food is compromised. In this regard, sit-down restaurants are better as they are less likely to use processed ingredients.
So, if there is a difference between these two types of restaurants, it is in terms of the nutritional value. Oh, and food at sit-down restaurants generally costs more.