Considering the increased contribution of foods consumed outside home and their potential impact on diet, this study aims to identify eating out patterns and their association with nutritional dietary quality in Brazil. We used the Individual Food Intake Survey 2008–2009, conducted with 34,003 individuals aged 10 and up. We used factor analysis by principal component to identify out-of-home eating patterns and linear regression to explore the association between patterns scores and dietary quality. We identified three food patterns. The “Traditional meal” pattern carried more rice, beans, meat, roots and tubers, pasta, vegetables and eggs. The “typical Brazilian breakfast/tea” pattern carried more fresh bread, margarine, milk, cheese and butter. The “Ultra-processed food” pattern carried more ready-to-eat meals and soft drinks. The “traditional meal” pattern was positively associated with calories from proteins, fiber, iron, potassium and sodium densities, whereas “typical Brazilian breakfast/tea” and “ultra-processed food” patterns were positively associated with energy density, the percentage of calories from lipids or carbohydrates, trans
fat and free sugar. Out-of-home eating may have a negative impact on nutritional dietary quality when based on ultra-processed food. However, it is possible to maintain a healthy out-of-home diet with adherence to traditional Brazilian cuisine.
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