A new study finds restaurant food is just as bad for your waistline as fast food.
"Our gut instinct goes to fast food being bad food, right?" Dietitian Autumn Bollinger said. Researchers uncovered both types have similar amounts of fat, calories and sodium.
"A lot of the time we're seeing the same options in our fast food as in our restaurants," Bollinger said. She added that restaurants may have more nutritious choices.
"We see grilled options, baked options, steamed options," Bollinger said. However, temptation is still hard to avoid.
"We have the best of intentions of walking into a restaurant and ordering a really healthy meal, but then we open that menu and we are flooded with options. Sometimes that salad doesn't quite make it to what we order," Bollinger said.
Even meals marketed as "healthy" may not be. Take charge with home cooking.
"We just have control over what's going in our bodies," Bollinger said. However, sometimes dining out is a must.
"Try and limit our fried foods," Bollinger said. Also, don't skip meals.
"Make sure we're having balanced meals throughout the day to protect ourselves from over eating," Bollinger said.
There is a rule-of-thumb to follow no matter where you eat.
"Whether you're at home, going through the fast food drive through or your at restaurants, the key is always going to be portion control," Bollinger said.
The study notes restaurant food was higher in vitamins and minerals, but higher in cholesterol and sodium compared to fast food.