Live Better

What’s the healthiest takeaway food?

Some nights, a home cooked meal isn't going to happen. Here's how to make the best takeaway choices

We’ve all been there – it’s been a busy day, there’s no food in the house, and the idea of going to the supermarket, preparing your ingredients and cooking up a healthy meal from scratch feels less than appealing.

Sometimes, takeaway is the easiest option for a quick and tasty meal. But before you order the extra-large meatlovers’ pizza, take a minute to review your choices.

“When it comes to takeaways and fast foods, extra kilojoules can creep in easily,” says Accredited Practising Dietitian Charlene Grosse.

“There are so many options available, many packed full of kilojoules, and large portions being offered at bargain prices. This makes it really difficult if you’re trying to eat well and avoid winter weight gain. By making smart choices, you can help keep your energy balance in check.”

9 healthier takeaway options

To keep your takeaway meal lighter and healthier, Charlene suggests the following ideas:

1. Ask for extra salad in your hamburger and skip the bacon, fried onion and stick to one meat pattie.

2. Go for small portions of gourmet style pizzas, topped with vegetables, lean meat or seafood and opt for a thin crust.

3. Try a jacket potato with creamed corn, baked beans or salad toppings.

4. Choose wholegrain sandwiches with lean meat, chicken or egg, and lots of salad.

5. Opt for grilled fish with vegetables, or a grilled fish burger with salad.

6. Try pasta with a tomato-based sauce (instead of cream-based).

7. Order skin-free chicken or remove it before eating.

8. Choose vegetables or salad and water with a meal deal, rather than chips and soft drink.

9. Go for a vegetable-based soup as a winter-warmer.

And remember – with a little forward planning you can make your own quick and healthy meals that will give you that same takeaway experience.

“Having a few quick and easy meal ingredients such as pizza bases, pasta sauces, vegetables, lean meats and ready-prepared legumes like lentils and chickpeas on hand at home will help you prepare ‘healthy takeaway’ at home, and save you money,” Charlene says.

For more nutrition advice, visit


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