A Diabetics Guide to Ridding the Take Away Guilt

Everyone deserves to indulge in a takeaway once in a while and put their feet up. Whether your favourite take away is an Indian, a Chinese, Fish and Chips, Pizza or even a Thai, you shouldn’t have to feel guilty afterwards for the occasional indulgence.

In this post we take a look at the most commonly made mistakes when ordering food from a take away and show you what you can order to help your meal be a little healthier.

For those of you who still can’t fight off the guilt when you arrange to have a take away night with your friends and family, there are other options that these places can cook up for you with considerably less calories than what you may usually pick. Pushing your limits when it comes to daily fat and salt intakes on a regular basis can lead to health problems later in life such as diabetes and heart disease.

Indian

Indian curries can be a delicious treat, and they can also come in healthy varieties. The problem with a lot of the more popular choices is that they have a very high cream content which makes their sauces so lovely! You can still pick other dishes that are just as tasty without scrimping on flavour.

Go for dishes with a lot of tomatoes, like madras or tandooris. Avoid anything that has been deep fat fried, you will be filling yourself with unnecessary fat. Commonly eaten in Indian households, Dhal makes up a lot of lentil based side dishes and make great healthy choices. Try and avoid pakoras, kormas, naan breads and other stodgy dishes. Chapattis make great substitutes for naan breads.

Thai

Thais are probably the best take aways you can choose from all those listed here as they offer thin sauce curries, a lot of fresh and vegetable based dishes and don’t tend to deep fry many of the items on their menus.

Stir-frys are great on their own and you can even get away with eating them regularly as they offer so much in the way of filling your daily vegetable quota. Choose vegetable, fish or chicken as your main meal as these are often boiled rather than cooked in oil.

Although, a lot of Thai food offers a healthy choice for take away lovers, you should watch out for the popular red and green curries as these are full of coconut milk which has high saturated fat content. Eating those will mean you’ll have to pay back a lot of exercise in return if you are trying to maintain or lose weight.

Thai take away restaurants make beautiful soups and salads, so try making these your sides of choice. Try and avoid anything in pastry i.e. – spring rolls as these items ARE fried. Satay items are also peanut based which adds calories easily.

Kebabs

Kebabs themselves can actually be really healthy and well picked choices when made at home as they offer a mixture of meats, salads, sauces, dips and pitta. However, many kebab houses put that much grease into the combination of ingredients that make up take out ones which is unfortunate – not that it stops a lot of people though.

Doner kebabs are an instant NO if you’re trying to bear in mind healthy choices. Try a shish kebab, which offers proper cuts of cooked meat, rather than reformed and re-cooked off cuts. Shish meat is usually grilled too which makes for a better flavour and nutritional content.

Pizzerias

If you’ve opted to treat yourself to a pizza but you want to watch the calories then choose to pick your own toppings.  Consider asking for more olives, peppers and mushrooms to make your pizza more vegetable packed. Ask for ham, prawns and fish as the meat topping of choice instead of beef or chicken. Hold off on the extra cheese and cut down on the sat-fat content.

If you’re choosing to get a pasta dish made up then try and go for one that has a base sauce of mainly tomato or other vegetables. Cream based sauces can add a lot of fat to a dish.

If you want to add a dessert to the order, why not choose to have a starter sized portion of whatever dish you choose to have? Take away starters aren’t as small as many people would assume and they can provide just enough for someone wanting to have a cake or ice cream, for example, afterwards.

Fish And Chips

Try to put a reasonable portion out on your plate rather than everything you are served in the tray/paper. A handful of chips is usually more than enough to fill you up, but many pile their plates high and gorge out feeling that they won’t get to ‘treat themselves’ food wise for a while. This is counterproductive and stuffing yourself won’t do you any favours.

Request if your local chip shop has any cardboard box containers rather than wrapping your food in paper or putting it in a plastic tray. This will soak up a lot of grease on the way home. Why not stock up on your own and take them with you?

Try to take away excess batter from any fish you buy that doesn’t cover the fish. Batter absorbs more oil than the fish. If your particular chip shop will accept a request to have your fish cooked in breadcrumbs rather than batter, opt for that instead.

Try and steer clear of any pies, sausages or fried cheese products such as ‘jacks’. Choose a large side and small portion of chips instead. Mushy peas are a perfect lower fat substitute to a bigger load of chips in your belly.

Most of all you shouldn’t put too much stress on what you’re going to be eating when you do decide to treat yourself, as you put more energy into panicking about it, there’s no point in having it as a treat. Keep in mind your weight and diet goals and a treat of a take away won’t do you any harm. Enjoy!

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This article was written by Ericka Bergeson. In between being a mummy to two baby boys and being a marketing nut, she loves hot chocolates and walks with her pug, Max. She loves to treat her family to a take away occasionally and she always asks for cardboard containers so the grease can be soaked up.

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