If take-out is a must, choose healthy
More Australians than ever are eating takeaway food.
According to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kalgoorlie has more restaurants and hotels per capita than any other regional centre in the State.
A recent survey completed by Population Health in showed more than 72 per cent of residents purchased foods away from the home at least once a week.
The most common reason — convenience.
Takeaway foods are often high in fat, sugar and salt and the serve sizes are much larger than most home-cooked meals, making them calorie-rich.
On average, takeaway burgers contain approximately 2000-2500 kilojules, some as high as 3500-4000kJ of energy, which is equal to about 10 slices of bread.
Add a large chips and a large coke and most burger meals contain more than 75 per cent of your daily energy requirements, and exceed daily fat, sodium and sugar recommendations.
However, it’s not all bad news.
Takeaway foods can be included as part of a healthy eating plan, as long as they’re not eaten every day and if healthier choices are made.
Ideally takeaway foods should be limited to once a week or for special occasions.
Here are a few tips to help you choose healthier takeaways.
If you’re going to indulge in a burger, choose a smaller hamburger containing only one patty and preferably with salad ingredients.
For added points, ask for the burger without cheese. Many takeaway burger outlets offer healthy alternatives, including wraps and salads.
A good old-fashioned steak sandwich is also a better choice than many takeaway burgers, although try to load up on salad ingredients and skip the egg and bacon.
To avoid unnecessary calories, choose water as the drink and diet soft drink as the next best.
One pizza is usually way too much for one person, so share and order a side salad.
Thin crust pizzas are less energy-dense than thick crust pizzas.
Try to choose pizzas with lots of vegetables and opt for lean meats such as chicken, instead of processed meats, like salami.
Choose tomato-based pasta dishes over creamy pastas.
Fish and chips:
Rather than fried fish, ask for grilled fish and share a small chips and again, order a salad as a side dish.
Other healthier takeaway options include Japanese sushi rolls containing fresh fish and vegetables, fresh rice paper rolls, freshly made salads or small rolls.
Finally, try to keep some convenience meals from the supermarket in the freezer.
For more information visit www.bakeridi.edu.au/Diabetes_Resources_Fact_Sheets
Joanna Ford is a dietitian with the Goldfields-Midwest Medicare Local.
© The West Australian