Home-cooked meals remain the healthiest option to get some energy, as you have control over the quality and amount of the ingredients you use for cooking. However, you might not always have enough time for meal prep or simply want to take a break from your stove – which is totally normal. That’s when food deliveries and takeaways come in handy.
Although takeaway meals are convenient and quick, they significantly lower your chances of eating healthily. They are often high in saturated fats, refined sugars, salt and come in large portion sizes. Thus, regular takeaway meals may result in weight gain, skin worsening, and a decline in overall health. Then, you risk many hospital visits and seeing medical equipment like the one offered by Heartlandmedical up close and personal.
But don’t worry! Below, you will find 8 great tips for making takeaway meals healthier. They range from avoiding fried foods and fizzy drinks and choosing sauces wisely to ordering dishes without meat and being aware of the extras, among other things. Read on and be mindful of what you eat!
Avoid Fried Foods and Fizzy Drinks
Restaurants tend to fry oily foods, such as chips, pizza, fish, or chicken. As a result, you’ll be consuming many saturated fats that may raise your cholesterol level and lead to heart problems. Moreover, the high amount of salt found in fast food is associated with digestive issues, including bloating and nausea.
To make healthier choices when ordering takeaways, avoid foods fried in oil and ask for a plate of steamed vegetables instead. Additionally, opt for fizzy drinks with no added sugar. If you want to drink something sweet, choose a homemade fruit smoothie rather than a bottle of soda or juice.
Choose Sauces Wisely
Sauces are often used to increase the taste and appeal of takeaway meals. Thus, you should carefully consider which ones to order with your meal. For instance, if you’re having chicken wings, skip the honey and barbecue sauces as they’re packed with refined sugars and sodium. Instead, ask for sour cream or ranch dressing for a healthier alternative.
Choose Vegetarian Dishes
If you’re trying to eat a healthy diet, ordering vegetarian dishes is one of the best ways to cut down on fat and meat portions. Vegetarian meals are usually lower in calories and aren’t served with cheese or mayonnaise. For instance, if you want to order Indian food, go for daal (lentil soup), vegetable curry, or stews instead of chicken tikka masala. Similarly, if you’re having Chinese food, order stir-fries with vegetables instead of sweet-and-sour pork or chicken.
Be Aware of Extras
Restaurant staff may add extras to your takeaway meal without you knowing. Before finalizing the order, read the menu carefully and check whether your meal comes with chips, cheese, or sauce. If it does, try avoiding these extras for a healthier meal. Although sides may add some calories to your takeaway meal, they aren’t necessarily unhealthy if chosen carefully. For example, baked potatoes are higher in calories than chips but contain more fiber and vitamins than fried potato skins.
Cut Portions in Half
To make your takeaway meal healthier, you should get a smaller portion of food or ask for a half portion of the meal instead of a full one. For instance, instead of getting a whole pizza with extra cheese, ask for a regular pizza with half the amount of cheese on it. Similarly, if there is an option to order a half portion of your favorite dish at home, give it a try to save some money and calories.
Drink Water Instead of Soft Drinks
To cut down on extra calories, ask for a bottle of water instead of a fizzy drink or juice with your takeaway meal. Although you may be tempted to order an alcoholic beverage with your meal, it’s best to start with a glass of water and see if you feel thirsty afterward. If not, you can always switch to a soft drink or juice later.
Avoid Meat Dishes
The main issue with takeaway meat is that it’s high in saturated fats and cholesterol. If you order a meat dish, opt for the lowest fat content possible: for example, chicken breast instead of a fried chicken fillet. However, if you tend to have a big appetite and eating a large portion of meat is something you can’t skip, try choosing lean cuts of meat instead.
Don’t Eat Too Much
One of the best ways to make takeaway meals healthier is to stop after eating less than half your meal. In this case, you won’t be tempted to eat more because you’ll still have leftovers to take home. That way, you’ll avoid overeating and prevent weight gain as well as other health issues associated with dietary excesses.
Ordering takeout meals can be a great way to save time for a busy lifestyle. They’re also a perfect solution for people who completely lack cooking skills but still want to eat something tasty every day. However, you should make sure that these meals are healthier than home-cooked ones. Otherwise, you’re very likely to gain weight fast, and your health will get worse.
To do this, avoid fried foods, opt for vegetarian dishes and skip the extras like cheese and mayonnaise. You can also cut your meal into smaller portions and drink water instead of soft drinks or juice. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your takeaway meals without having to worry about the health consequences of your food choices.