Guide to ordering a healthier takeout
Your guide to a guilt-free takeaway
It can be difficult to say no to a takeout, but what if we were to tell you that you didn't have to? Read our guide to ordering a healthier takeout, so you don't have to miss out while everyone else is tucking in.
It has to be said that there are times when nothing but a decent takeout will do. Sometimes it’s as an accompaniment to a great DVD on a Saturday night; sometimes it’s simply because you’ve just moved house and can no longer find the crockery! However, with all the deep-fat frying and MSG associated with ‘fast food’, it can be hard to marry the idea of a takeout with the notion of good nutrition.
But you don’t need to resign yourself to thinking of takeouts as a guilty pleasure — if you make the right menu choices, they can be healthier than you’d expect. Read our guide to the guilt-free takeout and learn how you can order in without feeling as though you’ve pigged out!
Healthier Chinese food option
If you avoid fried foods and MSG (monosodium-glutamate)-laden dishes like sweet and sour, crispy chili beef, fried noodles, prawn crackers and spring rolls, and instead go for more traditionally Chinese food such as noodle soup, dim sum and steamed dishes, a Chinese takeout can actually be remarkably healthy.
Instead of guilt-filled ...Battered sweet and sour chicken, prawn crackers and fried rice = 1200 calories
Go for guilt-free …Chicken with vegetables and cashew nuts, and boiled rice = 750 calories
Healthier Pizza option
If you think of pizza as bread topped with antioxidant-rich vegetables and tomato sauce, you’re ordering along the right lines. Otherwise pizza can be a nutritional nightmare, loaded with saturated fat, heavy on the calories and low in nutritional value. Skip the dips, and think twice before you order garlic bread — often the pizza alone will be more than enough.
Instead of guilt-filled ...One slice of stuffed crust meat pizza = 520 calories
Go for guilt-free …One slice of thin crust vegetable pizza = 160 calories
Healthier Burger option
Burgers are similar to pizza in that the preparation and accompaniments determine how healthy (or, rather unhealthy) they are. Toppings like bacon, coleslaw, chili and cheese add saturated fat, calories and salt. Go for grilled rather than fried whenever you can, and ask for extra salad.
Instead of guilt-filled ...Double cheeseburger, large fries and non-diet drink = 1150 calories (over half the average woman’s daily recommended intake of 2000!)
Go for guilt-free …Hamburger, small fries and diet drink = 500 calories
Healthier Kebab shop option
Instead of guilt-filled ...Doner kebab = 830 calories
Go for guilt-free … Falafel with hummus = 400 calories
Healthier Indian food option
Indian food has an unfair reputation as the most fattening of all takeout foods, but remember it’s not the country of origin but rather the menu choice you make that ultimately determines this. Go for a spinach or tomato-based sauce over a creamy one for a dose of vitamins and antioxidants, and choose leaner options such as chicken, prawns or fish in place of fatty meat like lamb. Grilled tandoor meat with salad is an excellent option. Avoid deep-fried snacks such as pakoras or bhajis.
Instead of guilt-filled ...Lamb korma, pilau rice and peshwari naan = 1025 calories
Go for guilt-free … Sag aloo (spinach and potatoes), boiled rice, plain naan = 360 calories
Healthier Thai food option
Instead of guilt-filled ...Beef Massaman with coconut rice = 670 calories
Healthier Mexican food option
Instead of guilt-filled ...Beef and cheese enchilada with soured cream = 380 calories
Go for guilt-free … Chicken fajita wrap = 200 calories
Healthier Japanese food option
Instead of guilt-filled ...Chicken katsu (breaded fried chicken) with fried noodles = 465 calories
Go for guilt-free …California roll (six pieces), plus miso soup = 370 calories
Healthier Fish and Chip shop option
Instead of guilt-filled ...Battered fish and chips = 1000 calories
Go for guilt-free …Small portion of chips with ketchup = 260 calories