How to choose healthier takeaway options!

We all love a takeaway and we all deserve a night off from cooking! But takeaways are notorious for being extremely high in salt, fat and/or sugar. Many providing our entire day’s calorie allowance in one meal! There is nothing wrong with the odd treat and indulging in your favourite take away occasionally is fine but more often than not when we decide to embark on a healthier eating regime we are faced with a social event which could potentially derail us! So let’s have a look at the usual suspects and see which options are the best for our waist lines!

Diet friendly takeaway options scale
Most diet friendly – Kebab – Indian – Italian – Chinese – Fish & Chips – Least diet friendly

Fish and chipsFish & Chips – the hardest of all takeaways to choose a ‘healthy’ option. The key here is to do some damage limitation. 90% of the food from a fish & chip bar is deep fried so you might need to be a bit clever and dig deep for that will power! Choose a small portion of chips – or even a children’s portion if it’s on offer. Some places sell roast chicken – this would be the best option! If you are faced only with fish, sausage or fishcakes then go for fish and peel the batter off the top, tuck into the juicy fish and perhaps a little taste of the batter. You could potentially save yourself over 800 calories with these tricks!

chinese-takeaway-rumney-cardiff-silver-dragon-chop-suey-house-chinese-restaurant-33Chinese – on a scale of diet friendly options Chinese rates poorly. Most Chinese takeaways cook everything in masses of oil. However, do not despair. Start with a lean protein source like chicken or prawns – tofu if you are veggie! Then look for anything described as steamed or stir fried as these cooking methods use less oil. Options like this include ‘chicken chow mien’ or ‘prawns with bean sprouts’. Avoid anything described as ‘crispy’ as this often means it’s been deep fried. Also steer clear of sweet and sour sauces as they are absolutely loaded with sugar. It’s also a good idea to pass on the starters and appetisers like prawn toasts and spring rolls as all of these will be deep fried. Try some dim sum instead which are steamed.

0PzvezBItalian – synonymous for carb heavy meals and creamy sauces like pizza and spaghetti carbonara you may begin to imagine your bikini body slipping away when your best friend mentions a trip to the local pizza parlour. If you are clever with your choice, pizza takeaways and Italian restaurants can be diet friendly. If you are opting for a pizza go for a thin crust which uses less dough rather than deep pan which is very calorie dense, not to mention it soaks up oil like a sponge! Ask for light toppings like vegetables and a lean protein source like chicken or prawns rather than pepperoni which is extremely high in fat not to mention salt! If you do go for a salad be careful to opt for one that doesn’t include a heavy calorie laden sauce like Caesar. Try an olive oil based dressing or better still ask for the dressing on the side so you can add a small amount yourself!

bigstock-Indian-takeaway-food-selection-52712047Indian – whilst the idea of an Indian takeaway might not scream diet friendly there are many options on the Indian takeaway menu that you can tuck into without the slightest concern. Tandoori chicken which is marinated and cooked dry is a perfect option. This is often served with salad so no need for a side dish! When choosing rice, opt for plain boiled rather than any of the flavoured varieties as these will be fried. Ditch the naan bread which is extremely high in calories and try a traditional Indian flatbread called a chapatti and your waist line will thank you.

cameraclix_mib_096Kebab – The crème de la crème of takeaways when it comes to diet friendly. Yes honestly! Keep well away from the doner meat and choose the ‘shish’ options which are grilled. Chicken is your best option but even a grilled lamb kebab would be a good choice. Most of these will be served with a pitta bread so if you are on a low carb plan perhaps you request for extra salad instead? Pass on the additional sauce options and use your own low fat mayo from home and you can even afford that glass of wine on the side!

Hopefully this article will give you the confidence to attend the usual takeaway night without ruining all of your hard work.

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