Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart
The number of takeaway food outlets has risen in recent years and this may have contributed to the rise in rates of obesity in the UK. Takeaway food is often cheap, convenient and tasty, but it also tends to be high in fat, salt and sugar.
Regularly consuming takeaways can have a negative impact on your heart health as well as your waistline. Swapping your usual takeaway for a healthier option may be a good way to cut down on fat, salt and sugar. We have some tips to guide you on choosing healthier takeaways.
Choose a food outlet that has healthy options on the menu
Compare the menus for takeaway food outlets and try to choose one that provides some healthier options. Some takeaway food outlets list calories on their menus and this can help you to make a healthier choice.
Choose wisely from the menu
Try to avoid foods that are deep fried, such as fish in batter, chips and fried chicken. Swap large deep-pan pizzas and pizzas with stuffed crusts for smaller pizzas. Select lower fat pizza toppings, such as mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn, chicken and ham, rather than pepperoni or extra cheese which are both high in fat.
Keep an eye on portion size
Be careful not to buy too much food when ordering your takeaway. Instead of ordering starters, mains, sides and desserts, why not just have a main course and finish off with some fruit and yoghurt. You could share a dish or freeze a portion of your takeaway for another time to avoid eating too much.
Make your own ‘Fakeaway’ at home
Try making healthier versions of your favourite takeaway dishes at home by finding healthy recipes online. If you can’t live without your favourite takeaway dish, you could try swapping side dishes, such as chips, garlic bread, fried rice or naan bread for brown rice or wholemeal pitta bread that you prepare at home.
Think about what you drink
Rather than buying sugary drinks with your takeaway, try drinking tap water or low calorie drinks instead. If you usually have alcoholic drinks with your takeaway, try to reduce the amount you consume by having a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink and try to choose drinks that have a lower alcohol content. Not only will this reduce your calorie intake, but it may also reduce the cost.
You can find plenty more healthy tips and recipes at heartresearch.org.uk