Takeout Tips: Order This, Not This

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The family is having dinner together.

Who doesn’t love a night of cooking? Ordering takeaway is fun (and delicious) for the whole family, but all too often, we give in to our guilty pleasures and don’t always choose the healthiest menu items.

But we have good news. You can get the best of both worlds by changing your regular food choices and replacing them with more health-conscious items.

Here are some tips.

Italian: Did someone say pizza? We’re already drooling. Make your pizza healthier by choosing a thinner crust when it’s an option. You may have the option of choosing cauliflower or a gluten-free crust. When it comes to pasta, tomato-based sauces usually contain less saturated fat than creamy options like carbonara.

Mexican: Craving tacos? Skip the sour cream. We promise it will still taste good. If you’re choosing beans on the side, switch to whole beans instead of re-cooked beans. Refried beans are sometimes made with lard. If you love burritos, opt for a vegetable bowl instead—it contains nearly all of the ingredients for a burrito with the added vegetable benefits, except for the tortilla.

Thai: Spring rolls are delicious, but they are usually fried. Opt for summer rolls instead because they are steamed and filled with vegetables. If it’s on the menu, try the green papaya salad for something unique!

Chinese: Many Chinese dishes come with a side of rice. Instead of choosing white, choose brown, which has more fiber and micronutrients. You will likely see that many of the meat (and possibly vegetable) options on the menu are fried. Choose a steamed option instead, with any sauce on the side.

American: Regular burgers are often loaded with saturated fat. Instead, try a black bean or vegetable burger. You can still add your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. While we can’t tell you that french fries are healthy, choosing french fries over those made with fermented potatoes provides more nutrients. Craving a bowl full of comfort? Broth soups are usually healthier than creamy ones.

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