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Takeaways are often cheap, convenient and satisfying but, unfortunately, they're not always very healthy.
Some takeaway meals can push you over your recommended daily maximum amount of salt and fat, which can lead to a variety of health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Some takeaways and restaurants now list calories on their menus, which lets you make a healthier choice.
Below are some tips on foods to avoid and healthier options when ordering your favourite takeaway.
There are lots of ways to make your trip to the chippy a healthier one. Have a portion of baked beans or mushy peas with your fish and chips. Watch out for other foods that are high in fat, such as pies and sausages.
The thicker the chips the better, because they absorb less fat. Try to have a smaller portion or share your chips. Ask for your fish and chips without salt – if you want some salt, then add a small amount yourself.
Don't eat all the batter around your fish, because it soaks up a lot of fat. If available, have fish coated in breadcrumbs, as it soaks up less fat.
Fish and chips that are cooked in oil at the right temperature taste better and absorb less fat. So watch out for soggy batter and chips, because this is often a sign that the oil wasn't hot enough.
If you're having pizza, choose lower-fat toppings, such as vegetables, ham, fish and prawns. You could ask for some extra veg on your pizza to bump up your daily fruit and veg portions. But if you don't want to increase the saturated fat content and number of calories in your meal, don't ask for extra cheese.
With pasta dishes, if you want a lower-fat option go for a sauce that's based on tomatoes or vegetables, rather than cream.
If you're having a starter or a dessert, then you could go for a smaller main meal, such as a starter-size pasta with a side salad – Italian restaurants often serve two sizes of pasta dishes.
Rather than garlic bread, which often contains a lot of butter (and is therefore high in fat), you could try bruschetta, which is a tasty ciabatta bread toasted and topped with fresh tomatoes and herbs.
Anything that’s battered or marked as "crispy" on the menu means it’s deep-fried. Watch out for starters such as prawn crackers and spring rolls, because these are generally deep-fried. Anything in batter will be high in fat. Sweet and sour pork is usually battered.
Steamed dishes are the best option, but stir-fries are fine because they're usually lower in fat and include vegetables.
Try to stick to stir-fried dishes or steamed dishes containing chicken, fish or vegetables instead of curries.
Thai curries, such as the popular green and red curries, contain coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat. If you choose a curry, try not to eat all the sauce. Have some steamed rice with your meal instead of egg-fried rice.
Try to avoid anything that’s creamy or deep-fried. To reduce the amount of fat in your meal, choose dishes with tomato-based sauces, such as tandoori and madras, plain rice or chapatti. Also choose plenty of vegetables, including lentil side dishes (known as dhal).
Doner kebabs can be high in fat. For a healthier option, go for a shish kebab, which is a skewer with whole cuts of meat or fish and usually grilled.
If you’re having a burger, avoid breaded or battered chicken or fish patties, extra cheese, bacon strips and high-fat sauces, such as mayonnaise. Instead, go for a regular, single-patty hamburger without mayonnaise or cheese and have with extra salad.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.