Top take-away food tips

Most of us agree that fast food and takeaway foods aren’t great for our health, and don’t leave us feeling our best. But they can also be expensive! In 2010, the average Australian family spent $63 of their food budget on fast food and/or takeaway foods each week – up 50% from the past six years!1. It’s important to enjoy food though, and as part of a balanced diet, you can enjoy these foods in small amounts, occasionally2.

Fast food and takeaway foods are often high in:

These food choices are often low in fibre, vitamins and minerals – essentials that we need each day to keep our whole body healthy.

Eating too many foods that are high in energy, salt and saturated fat can put you at higher risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure.

Healthier options when eating out

  • Plain hamburgers with extra salad
  • Small gourmet style pizzas (topped with vegetables, lean meat or seafood and opt for a thin crust)
  • Jacket potatoes with creamed corn, baked beans or salad toppings
  • Wholegrain sandwiches with lean meat and salad
  • Grilled fish with a side salad
  • Pasta with tomato based sauces
  • Sushi or Vietnamese rolls.

Smart Eating Tips for takeaway foods

  • Always have some quick and easy meal ingredients so that you are less tempted to order takeaway. Think pizza bases, pasta sauces, fresh vegetables, lean BBQ meats, lean mince and ready prepared lentils
  • When ordering takeaway foods high in saturated fat and salt like chips, fried chicken, and fatty meats, limit yourself to smaller portions, and ask for a side of salad or vegetables
  • Check what type of oil your food is cooked in and if possible, go for healthier oils such as olive oil
  • Instead of choosing a meal deal with chips and a soft drink, choose healthy accompaniments like a side salad, corn cob, bread roll, fruit, yoghurt and opt for plain water
  • If lean or wholegrain versions are offered; these are usually healthier choices
  • Choosing skin-free chicken or simply removing it can reduce the fat content of your meal
Takeaway foods can be enjoyed as part of a healthy eating plan, but keep them to small amounts, and only occasionally. An Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) can assist you in making changes to your diet and can offer advice on healthy alternatives to high fat, high salt takeaway foods.
  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011. ‘6530.0 – Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10’ http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/6530.0Main%20Features22009-10