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Healthy takeaway | The healthiest takeaway meals to order tonight – Women’s Health UK

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Life, as you’ll well know if you’re a regular Women’s Health reader, is all about balance.

You might be determined to eat a little healthier as we move into Spring, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to takeaways completely. The beauty of the takeaway is its speed, simplicity, and of course, the lack of washing up required.

After a long week of tackling everything from meetings to school runs, and rush hour on public transport; for some (read: us), a takeaway is one of the only ways of immediately improving our moods.

Thankfully, the takeaway industry has come a long way from having the choice between pizza, noodles, or fish and chips; now there is a whole host of healthly-ish options just a few clicks away.

The world of takeaways is certainly booming with Deliveroo undertaking 290 million orders last year. And the trend is set to continue with over 60 per cent of us attempting to eat healthily.

So, what actually makes a takeaway healthy?

We hear you. On days when you’re craving a burger, it’s a burger you should be ordering. But every day can’t be an indulgent day, especially if you lean towards a takeaway more often than others.

‘Takeaway food is typically high in fat and salt – because they stimulate appetite, making them an attractive combo for food manufacturers – and low in vitamins and minerals,’ explains Laura Tilt, registered dietitian and founder of Tilt Nutrition.

I don’t think it will come as a surprise to any of us to know that our burger order (with extra cheese and bacon) might not have the best nutritional rating, so while it may take a lot of effort to scroll past the cheeseburger and chips, you might be better off opting for a healthier option.

According to the Deliveroo team, more restaurants than ever are introducing plant-based menus and dishes to their regular offering, increasing by 17% in the last year. There’s also been a huge growth in the number of healthier choices and other dietary needs, as well as filters and better navigation to help you find those options on the app.

In fact, last year the top two trending dishes on Deliveroo for 2023 were the Build Your Own Poké Bowl from Poké Shack in London, closely followed by the Build Your Own Salad Bowl from atis in London – both healthy options.

What is the healthiest takeaway?

While Deliveroo options vary across the country, their nationwide healthier options include the likes of Pure, Ask Italian, Itsu and Leon alongside many other big restaurant names.

But it’s not just big names spoiling us for healthy choices. Stand-out meals include the Salmon Sashimi Bento (with a side of miso soup for the gut) from Gourmet Sushi; the Japanese Mushroom and Miso Ramen from Tonkotsu and the vegan Grain Gains protein bowl from the new salad bar offered by Fresh Fitness Food.

According to Tilt, we can spot the healthiest takeaways by taking note of key ingredients. This may sound obvious, but avoid restaurants that only offer fried food – and look out for healthier cuisines like Mediterranean, Greek, Lebanese and Italian.

What are the lowest calorie takeaways?

Many of us rely on takeaways when we fancy indulging in calorie-dense foods (i.e. the most delicious foods: we’re looking at you, cheesy chips). But how can we keep things lower in calories if we’re trying to lose weight?

‘Go for grilled dishes over fried; chicken and fish over fattier meats, like lamb; tomato or veggie sauces rather than creamy ones; and steamed rice over fried,’ advises Tilt.

She also suggests avoiding sides and other add-ons unless they’re vegetables, as well as eating mindfully and being aware of portion sizes.

‘Research suggests that you eat more when faced with large portions, so swerve this trap by plating up a portion and refrigerating the rest.’

Leaving some for leftovers also means you’ve got something pretty tasty for lunch the next day thanks to ongoing chemical reactions which add more flavour to dishes. Take this as your sign to order that chicken madras, you know you want to.

But be aware of sauces and extra condiments – takeaway dips and dressings usually contain very high levels of sugar and salt, so are best avoided.

While ordering a takeaway every day of the week may be excessive, eating a satisfying lunch might also stop you from craving a calorie-dense afternoon snack so really it’s a win-win situation.

Ready to order?

The healthiest takeaways to order tonight

  1. Spicy Chicken & Greens Noodle Soup – Pho
  2. Tunacado Sandwich – Joe & The Juice
  3. Grilled Chicken Bowl with lettuce, black beans and salsa – Tortilla
  4. Chicken Butterfly with lightly spiced rice and long-stem broccoli – Nando’s
  5. Yuzu Lomi Lomi Salmon – Island Poké
  6. Lean In- Fresh Fitness Food
  7. Gut Loving Grains – Pure
  8. Arrabbiatissima – Pasta Evangelists
  9. Lentil Masala with a flatbread – Leon
  10. Grilled Chicken Rice Bowl – Street Greek
  11. Shu’s Shiok Jackfruit with a side of edamame beans – Wagamama
  12. Zinger Rice Box with a side of coleslaw – KFC

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