Affordable, convenient and satisfying, takeaway food often comes to the rescue when your hands are too full to prepare a meal for yourself. However, when deciding what’s best for your health and waistline, some options on the menu may be more nutritional than others. More than just your figure, consuming more than the daily-recommended maximum amount of salt and fat can lead to numerous health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. While it’s important to consider eating fried takeaway food items in moderation, there are still plenty of healthier food options to choose from on these menus.
Fish & Chips
Believe it or not, there are many ways in which to turn the favourite chippy into a more nutritional one. When placing your order, request that the fish is coated in breadcrumbs rather than the traditional batter, as breadcrumbs soak up less fat than batter when being fried in oil at high temperatures.
In addition to chips, takeout menus, such as Barbican Fish & Chips, tend to offer other side options as well that may be more heart-healthy, such as mushy peas or a side salad. If you cannot forgo the chips, ask that they be cut in thicker slices so less oil is absorbed when they’re being cooked.
One of the best things about ordering pizza is the number of combinations to choose from. From the crust and sauce to the cheese and toppings, there are several ways to build a healthier pizza. Cheese-stuffed crust may be one of the best additions to a pizza, but be sure to consider the additional saturated fat content. While cheese is a must on a pizza, try to avoid creamy sauces and adding too many processed meats. Adding vegetables like peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms can be just as satisfying as a meat-lover’s pizza.
If you typically order garlic bread as a side, which usually contains a high amount of butter, consider other options like fresh bruschetta. Ciabatta bread contains less fat and salt than garlic bread and is topped with fresh tomatoes and tasty herbs. Places like Dominos now offer a variety of salads for those looking for something on the lighter side.
Chinese food is one of the most popular options since takeaway food services started being offered in restaurants. Known for having some of the most delicious dishes on takeout menus, it’s far too simple to forget about portion control when ordering. Fortunately, one of the most convenient attributes of takeout is that you can put whatever you don’t finish in the fridge for another time.
As a general rule of thumb, consume items on the menu that are battered and deep-fried in moderation. Appetisers like steamed veggie spring rolls and vegetable dumplings are just as delicious as fried egg rolls and noodles. Hot & sour soup or wonton soup are tasty and healthier choices as well. When choosing an entree, having chicken with broccoli is a leaner option than beef. Dishes with steamed shrimp and other seafood contain a high amount of protein and won’t leave you feeling sluggish as red meat dishes tend to do.
With interesting flavour combinations like sweet and salty, spicy and creamy, and sharp and musky, it’s easy to see why Thai food has become a popular takeout option in the more recent years. Especially with Hungry House, Thai food and other ethnic food options have received more exposure than ever before.
While shrimp paste, fish sauce, and curry paste go a long way in making these dishes taste unlike anything else. Some of the ingredients found in Thai food can contain a high amount of sodium, but healthier options like hot and sour shrimp soup (Tom Yum Goong) and Cashew Chicken (Gai Pad Mamuang Him Ma Pahn) contain a lot more healthy fats.
Like pizza, there are many ways in which to build a nutritional burger. While traditional burgers are typically served with battered chicken or fish or a beef patty, many takeaway menus offer substitutions as well. For example, consider a grilled chicken or veggie patty if it’s available on the menu. Toppings like mayonaise, high-fat sauces, bacon strips and cheese should be consumed in moderation. Healthier toppings like fresh lettuce and tomatoes add natural flavour and crunch to a burger.
While it’s not a sin to enjoy your favourite fast-food dishes every once in awhile, it’s important to consider the amount of nutrients you’re getting from your food. Consider the above healthy twists next time you order takeout. Bon appetit!