Top 5 healthiest UK takeaway options
by Harry • 7 minutes read
Last updated: 25 Jul, 2023
In the era of Deliveroo, Uber Eats and many more just like them, there are now thousands of carb-loaded calories ready to be delivered right to your door with just the tap of a screen.
If you're anything like me, you'll often fall into the trap of quick and easy takeaways more often than you should... But, as I recently decided to lose some fat, I needed to change this fast. Starting to cook more is one thing, but I know I'm not going to cook from scratch every single night fothe rest of my life, so I needed to find some healthier takeaway options.
Today I'll be going through the healthiest options at some of the most popular takeaways in the UK.
This may come as a shock, but you can actually get a pretty healthy meal at Dominos if you make the right choices, even a meal with low sugar content!
If you can resist the temptation to get a large stuffed-crust pizza with a big garlic dip and cookies for dessert, you can eat a meal about 700 calories that’s not crammed with carbs, and has a lot of protein and some veg too.
Opting for a small-sized Veggie Supreme with an Italian-style crust or thin crust and reduced-fat cheese, will come to about 700-calories, with the following nutritional breakdown:
|Energy kcal||Energy kJ||Fat (g)||Sat (g)||Carb (g)||Sugars (g)||Fibre (g)||Protein (g)||Salt (g)||Sodium (g)|
Now, you probably won't eat the whole thing, so let's say you eat two thirds, you'll be at 460 calories. This is certainly one of their healthier options available right now, so it's the perfect choice if you're craving dominos but don't want to eat a million calories.
You could even pick up a protein-packed side order of Chicken Kickers. You'll get 7 in the order, which serves 2 people, for 183 calories each with a whopping 18.4g of protein, plus just 0.2g of sugar!
Combine this with the pizza and your whole dinner will come to 643 calories, with a huge 41g of protein, less than 10g of sugar. That's 1/4 of the sugar in a single can of coke...
The only thing you should keep in mind if you do order Dominos, is your salt intake for the rest of the day. Salt is pretty tough to avoid at Dominos. So, with the daily recommendation being no more than 6g and this meal containing 4.25g, just make sure you eat clean and healthy the rest of the day and you'll be fine.
What may be even more shocking, is that you can also get a healthy meal at McDonald's of all places!
Opting for 'The BBQ Chicken & Bacon One - Grilled Meal' is not only a cheap choice but also won't pack on the pounds like most items on the menu. You can get a side salad and a simple water for a drink.
The meal comes to just 382kcal, with low saturated fats, low sugars, relatively-low salt and high protein.
Here's the full breakdown:
|Nutritional Information||Per Portion||%RI (Adult - 2000kcal)|
|of which saturated (g)||1.7||8%|
|of which sugar (g)||8.7||10%|
So, if you're in need of a quick, cheap takeaway that isn't high in fat and salt, you can still go to the king of fast food for dinner. With the healthier choice on the menu, you'll take in less than 400 calories while packing on the protein.
A lot of what you'll find on a UK Chinese menu will be deep fried, full of salt and covered in soy sauce. But, if you carefully select what you order, you can enjoy a Chinese takeaway without all the usual downsides.
If ordering Chinese, opt for lots of vegetable-based dishes packed full of pak-choi, peppers, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and bean sprouts. Avoid many of the deep-fried appetisers, such as prawn toast, prawn crackers, and deep fried spring rolls, and sauces such as sweet chilli dip which are high in sugar. Making yourself a portion of whole grain rice, instead of ordering white rice can also help to increase fibre content, and limit effects on blood glucose levels.
Bio-Kult Nutritional Therapist, Hannah Braye
It's not the easiest task, but if you're craving Chinese food and you're looking to lose weight, finding those vegetable or plant-based dishes that aren't smothered in sweet and sour sauce, is definitely worth the effort. There's plenty to choose from on the menu from veggie rice noodles to Kung Pao chicken, both of which contain plenty of fibre and protein and very low fats.
Fish and Chips
A British classic, but not always the healthiest takeaway option. Not unless you follow these tips...
Ask for a non-battered fish: You may not find this at most takeaways, but many will happily oblige. The batter is a huge source of carbs, oil and salt and is best to avoid if you can.
Get a kids portion of chips: Unsurprisingly, deep-fried potato isn't the healthiest of takeaway foods. If you can get a small portion or even opt for something better, like a salad, that's the way to go.
Make your own mushy peas: Homemade mushy peas are likely to have less salt, sugar, and other additives than canned varieties used by takeaways.
You can still enjoy that classic fish and chip feeling, but will need to make a few changes to create a truly healthy takeaway. The classic large battered-cod and chips won't be great for your calorie count.
Indian takeaways offer plenty of dishes that are packed with protein and vegetables, but they can be overshadowed by the carb-heavy sundries like naan breads and rice. If you can stick to the healthier side of the menu and avoid the deep-fried options, you can grab an Indian takeaway while keeping things healthy.
Avoid filling up on naan bread, poppadoms, and white rice, which are high in simple carbohydrates and provide lots of empty calories. Skipping the sundries such as onion bhaji and pakora will also help to reduce fat content. A healthier alternative would be to make or buy ones that can be baked in the oven at home rather than deep-fried. You could also cook your own wholegrain rice. Saag paneer and saag aloo dishes are spinach-based, so good options to increase your intake of nutrients such as folate, iron, and magnesium.
Bio-Kult Nutritional Therapist, Hannah Braye
And there you have it! 5 ways to make typically unhealthy takeaways, healthy again. You can make that trip to McDonald's, order Dominos and even grab a fish and chips, all while keeping the calories low and the nutrients clean.
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