Astonishing and satisfying Takeout ticks all of your tastes ‘delicious’ boxes. However, it might be detrimental to our health and fitness goals. We all know that take-out food isn’t always the healthiest option. It’s usually high in fat, fried and crispy, or filled with kidney-killing salt – none of which makes for a diet-friendly dish. But, what if you could have your cake and eat it, too? We’ve compiled a list of healthy take-out options for when you need a quick dinner that’s almost good for you, with lockdowns still looming and more of us working from home than ever.
5 Rules when choosing your take-out meal
But, before we get started, let’s cover the fundamentals: what should we check for in a take-out order? To minimize the harmful fast-food effect, we’ve outlined the main items that should be included in a healthier take-out menu.
Rule 1: Go whole grain
When it comes to carbs, whole grain is always the way to go, whether it’s rice, pasta, or pizza. Whole grains are less processed than refined grains. This implies they’re high in fiber as well as other essential minerals like folate, potassium, magnesium, and iron. They’re also absorbed more slowly, keeping you satisfied for longer and preventing blood sugar spikes.
Rule 2: Add more veggies
Veggies are always a solid choice. Adding extra to your take-out meals is a win-win situation. Veggies give your body the vitamins and minerals it requires to get through the day. They’re also high in fiber, which assists digestion and makes you feel better overall.
Rule 3: Keep fried to a minimum
That crunchy texture is delectable, but it’s not healthy for your health. Fried foods contain a lot of trans fats, which raise harmful cholesterol levels. This can eventually lead to heart disease. According to one study, eating French fries twice a week increased the risk of death compared to eating other varieties of potatoes.
Rule 4: Take a hard-miss on the sauce
This holds true for sauces, dressings, and your salt and pepper partners. We know they’re wonderful and can add a lot of flavor to a dish, but they can make the difference between a healthy lunch and a not-so-healthy meal. Condiments are generally high in salt, saturated fat, and sugars, all of which are bad for your health. So, before you grab the ketchup bottle, think twice.
Rule 5: Switch it up with a ve getarian
Take-out vegetarian options frequently include more veggies and, of course, less processed meat. A vegetarian diet has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some malignancies in general. But only if you do everything correctly. When ordering vegetable takeout, be sure to avoid overly processed dishes, as the health risks outweigh the advantages.
Healthy take-out options for lockdown and beyond (not all salad)
Still, cooped up at home? If you want to get out of the kitchen for a while, these are the best take-out options available. If you don’t see your favorite, let us know. Send us an email and tell us about your favorite healthy(ish) takeout.
Deep, deep flavors, noodles, and sauce – it’s easy to become engrossed in the flavors of Chinese take-out. But how can you replicate the flavors while reducing the nasty stuff? Simple! Avoid fried items in favor of boiled options and more vegetables.
- Battered foods, such as chicken balls
- Fried foods, such as egg-fried rice
- Vegetable-packed dishes
- Steamed rice
- Whole-grain noodles
- Steamed dumplings
British Fish & Chips
If you crave the salty goodness of a traditional British chippy, it might be tough to know what to order in order to make it a bit less unhealthy.
True, the dishes here are generally high in fat and salt – particularly the pies and sausages – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t healthier alternatives.
- Fries in the style of a French fry
- Fish that has been battered
- Sausages and suppers with sausages
- a pinch of salt
- Fish in its natural state
- ‘Chips’ that are thicker (fries)
- Peas with a mushy texture
The Thai food we know and love is made up of deep curries, rich tastes, and more. The terrible aspect is that it doesn’t always return our love. Thai cuisine, like Chinese cuisine, can feature a lot of fried food, so opt for a boiled or steamed version first. Also, be careful with the sauce. Because red and green curries frequently contain a lot of coconut milk as the main component, cut back on the sauce if you can.
- Rolls, crackers, and fried rices
- Use only a little sauce.
- Salads that are delicious
- Vegetables stir-fried
- Rice that has been steamed
- Products made from whole grains
Indian takeout is a delectable treat, whether you choose a fiery curry or a mild lentil dhal. But how can you keep track of your calories while still enjoying all of the flavors? Stick to vegetables, boil rather than fry, and avoid creamy sauces. Also, keep an eye on the bread. Although it may be delicious, it may be adding unnecessary calories to your meal.
- Dishes with cream (korma, masala, etc.)
- Naan breads are thick, dense breads.
- Pakoras, for example, are fried foods.
- Curries made with vegetables
- rice that has been steamed or boiled
Mmm, gooey pizza never fails to thrill, and just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods. But do it correctly. Instead of a heavy base, go for a thin one and pile on the vegetables. You may even start with a side salad to avoid digging in when you’re hungry.
- Pizza with a thick crust
- a little extra cheese
- Sauces with a creamy texture
- Several deep swoops
- a few more vegetables
- Sauces made with tomatoes
- Start with a salad as a side dish.
Kebabs and burgers
You can get a longing for a great burger or kebab
- Portion sizes are large.
- Fries à la française
- foods that have been battered
- Meats skewered
- Burgers for one person (not doubles or triples)
- Meats that are low in fat
- Salads as a side
Remember! Take-out is ok once in a while
Occasionally ordering takeout will not jeopardize your diet attempts. On the other hand, it could be beneficial to your mental health. However, if you find yourself consuming overly processed, take-out items on a regular basis, it may be time to reconsider your diet and make it more sustainable. Check out our meal-planning recommendations for lockdown and beyond. Now go ahead and eat that well-deserved take-out; you’ve earned it!