So apparently I’m not the only one that adores eating out. Recently, Choice magazine discovered that Australians eat takeaway about 2.5 times a week on average, while 42% of Aussies eat out more than three times a week.
The only downside about eating out is how bad for you it can actually be. You don’t realise it, but restaurants can add obscene amounts of salt and sugar to meals in order to make them appetising. Portion sizes are generally out of control, so you end up eating six times the amount of pasta that you would normally. Oh, and you always have alcohol and dessert, too. Because you’re out and you’re spoiling yourself. Right?
It’s not that you should never go out to dinner. Ohhh, no. What is life without some delicious Thai food and a serve of Gelato Messina after?
But if you eat out often, or if you are generally watching your calorie intake, it’s good to be mindful of what you’re eating – as you can quite easily clock up thousands of calories in just one meal.
I asked Amy Vero, an accredited practicing dietitian, to give us some tips on how to make your takeaway eating that little bit healthier. This is what she said:
Take-away foods can be enjoyed as part of healthy eating plan, if they are consumed occasionally and in smaller portions. It is best to choose foods that are higher in fibre and lower in saturated fat and salt. I recommend that you always have some quick and easy meal ingredients in the pantry, so you are less tempted to order take-away such as fresh vegetables, lean BBQ meats, lean mince, pizza bases and ready prepared lentils. For example, pizza can be made at home using wholemeal Lebanese bread as a base, with vegetables and low-fat cheese as toppings, served with baby spinach on top for a quick, easy and nutritious meal.
But if you absolutely, absolute have to go out – here’s your cheat sheet of what you should go for and what you should stay away from. Take note and try to remember next time you’re dialling the number of your favourite Thai restaurant, or strolling in through the entrance of the best Italian.
Eat: Sashimi! Brown rice sushi! Edamame! Seaweed salad! Miso soup! The possibilities here are delicious.
Avoid: The fried tempura dishes and sushi that’s served with copious amounts of mayonnaise on top.