When you’re trying to stick to a healthy, balanced diet, cooking at home is ideal. But let’s be real...sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking so you reach for that stack of tried-and-true delivery menus.
But just because it’s delivery doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy! Let this list of 12 better-for-you options take the guesswork out of what to order next time you reach for the takeout menu.
Healthy Chinese Food
- Protein: Choose proteins prepared simply, like roasted chicken or stir-fry and avoid breaded and deep-fried options. Also, ask for any sauces on the side so you can control the amount.
- Soup: Clear, brothy soups are packed with gut-healing properties like collagen and amino acids. If they add noodles to the soup ask if you can sub more vegetables in place of the noodles. Bonus: add an egg for an extra dose of healthy fat and protein!
- Sides: Always order the side vegetable dishes like broccoli, French beans, spinach, bok choy or cabbage to bulk up your meal with gut-friendly fibre! This will help keep you feeling fuller longer and give your body beautifying phytonutrients.
Healthy Thai Food
- Papaya salad: The naturally occurring enzymes in papaya help with the breakdown and digestion of fats and protein, and synergistically work with the young papaya’s fibre content to cleanse the digestive tract. This is the perfect starter salad if you ask me! I generally ask for it to be prepared “not too sweet” so they go easy on the palm sugar.
- Curry: Thai curries are rich in healthy fats from coconut milk and phytonutrients from herbs and spices. Add a protein to it and you’re all set! Just be mindful of your rice consumption and keep it to one serving or about ½ a cup.
- Soup: Tom yum soup is packed with nutrient-dense broth, herbs, spices, and fish which provides you with a good dose of essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s.
Healthy Indian Food
- Protein: Choose proteins that are grilled or baked in a tandoori oven as they will contain less inflammatory oils restaurants are known to use!
- Curries, Masalas, and Gravies: Chicken tikka masala and curries are without a doubt delicious and rich in healthy fats, however, it’s hard to gauge whether all the ingredients are healthy at restaurants. Most of the time, I prefer to cook these curries at home so I can control the ingredients and load up on with veggies. But when dining out, these dishes definitely beat deep-fried curry puffs on the health scale!
- Vegetables: Indian-spiced vegetables and legumes like cauliflower, potato, dahl, or chana masala are also great takeaway options! Because Indian food leans heavily on carbohydrates, I intentionally choose only one carbohydrate (naan, rice, potato, roti prata etc.) versus all of the above, and a healthy protein to lessen my insulin response.
Healthy Vietnamese Food
- Spring or Summer Rolls: Packed with fresh herbs and protein, spring rolls make for a nutrient-dense, healthy starter! Just avoid the deep-fried version.
- Pho: The broth has been cooked down for hours, providing nourishing amino acids, while all the fresh herbs provide necessary phytonutrients. Kindly ask for less noodle and extra greens and herbs, if possible!
- Traditional Vietnamese Salad: Salads made with cabbage, chicken, herbs, carrots, bean sprouts, and a spicy fresh dressing is a wonderful and clean takeaway option that won’t leave you feeling heavy.