Many of us enjoy in the luxury of not having to cook, especially if it is after a long day or for a special occasion. Often this treat will be to order a take-away but to be honest the tips that I have put together below can just as easily apply if you are eating in a restaurant.
Just remember that regardless of the cuisine you have chosen to enjoy, there are low calorie and low-fat options for you to have, you just need to get into the habit of choosing these, and of course as with all meals be mindful of the portion size.
Here are my Top 5 healthiest and low-calorie takeaways, as well as 5 you should avoid.
Order this and feel great: Chicken Tikka with Plain Rice This main dish has no sauce and is a simply cooked kebab style chicken, it is super tasty and full of protein which will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Remember don’t overdo the rice, portions provided can be big; if you follow the portion rule – a portion of rice should be the size of your palm.
Avoid Ordering: Chicken Korma with Naan Bread Korma dishes (and many other sauce-rich dishes) are laden with calories and fat, as most of the ingredients are cooked in cream, salt, sugar, and nuts.
A great and cheaper alternative to a Naan bread can be in the form of small wholemeal tortilla wraps from the supermarket; they can be purchased and frozen for future use, they can easily be thawed in time for your takeaway curry, and are super low in fat and calories but just as tasty as a Naan especially if they are slightly warmed.
Order this and feel great: Steamed Vegetables with Plain Boiled Rice Having the vegetables means this Chinese dish is full of vitamins and minerals, making it a super healthy choice and if you want some protein then choose chicken which will be lower in fat or even fish if they are not deep-fried.
And if you wish to have a starter too then Crab and Sweet Corn Soup is super tasty, this would always be an A-lister’s choice to keep them full and without the bloated feeling!
Avoid Ordering: Spring Rolls which are deep-fried and are calorie-laden as even though deep down they may be packed with vegetables, it is all the fat on the outsides that turns this starter from an excellent choice to one that is bad.
A main of Sweet & Sour Pork Balls with Egg Fried Rice will push the calorie content through the roof as the pork is coated in batter and deep fried and the rice is fried too. It’s the way these types of dishes are cooked which increases the calories. Avoid anything dropped into hot fat and fried as these are high in sodium and fat which will raise your cholesterol.
Order this and feel great: Thin Base Margherita. The key with a pizza is to keep it simple and keep it thin and small, so the Margherita with small thin crust is the perfect choice, if you want something to go with it chose a side salad but remember to leave off the dressing.
Avoid Ordering: Deep Crust Cheese with Pepperoni. The deep thick crust is an overload of carbs which will leave you feeling bloated, and the extra cheese means this pizza is dripping with fat. The pepperoni may be tasty but will only add more calories, fat, and salt to the pizza.
Fish & Chips
Order this and feel great: Cod and Mushy peas So many of us love this take-away and if you want to make this a super healthy choice, simply eat the cod in the middle and do not eat the batter. Imagine the batter is the packaging and discard this, and just eat the cod. Have this alongside your mushy peas to make this the perfect guilt-free fish and chip take-away.
Avoid Ordering: Jumbo sausage in Batter with Chips there are so many reasons to avoid ordering this option: fried, fat, oil, salt – enough said!!
Order this and feel great: Chicken Breast Kebab in a Wholemeal Pitta stuffed with Salad. Whilst we may be pushing our luck to ask for a wholemeal pitta bread, but if it’s not available choose the option with the thinnest option of bread / pitta available or choose not to have any. This choice is extremely healthy and low in fat. The key is to avoid adding any of the sauces.
Avoid Ordering: Kebab with Chips. This spinning meat is remarkably high in fat and is stuffed into a pitta with sauces that are high in fat, sugar, and salt, and the chips just add to the calories that the meal contains.
At the end of the day, it is about making smart choices. You can order take-aways, eat out in a restaurant or cook a nice meal at home, which ever you decide to do remember that the options that are sauce rich, include fried ingredients are likely to be the less healthy options. If you fancy a steak have one but chose the leanest cut available and have it with a salad rather than a sauce and chips!
Plus remember to pay attention to your portion size!