What a Dietitian Wants You to Order From UberEats

Takeaway is often thought of as unhealthy or a once-a-week treat, however, our busy lifestyles mean that we’re more reliant on takeaway options than ever before.

Moreover, with restaurants closing temporarily in 2020, it’s no surprise that we embraced takeaway and turned to online food delivery apps like UberEats to help support local businesses through the pandemic.

As more restaurants are offering healthier options, we decided to look into the most popular takeaway foods available on food delivery apps, and how they stack up against each other. 

Healthiest Takeaway Options on UberEats

1. Poke Bowls

Poke Bowls have been gaining popularity in recent years as a colorful, ‘Instagram-worthy’ takeaway option. They’re a versatile option as you can choose your base of healthy carbohydrates or a lower carbohydrate option such as salad, then top with all the color you can and a quality source of protein. Choose salmon or tuna for an added omega-3 boost and go light on the sauce (which can sometimes have more kilojoules than an actual meal).

2. Mexican 

Burritos and tacos are always a crowd favorite, however, there are definitely some menu items that are healthier than others. For the healthiest Mexican takeaway options, choose burrito bowls with grilled chicken and extra salad, or soft shell tacos with grilled fish and plenty of salad toppings. 

3. Sushi 

Sushi is a classic on-the-go option for many people, especially when you find yourself busy shopping or running errands. Most sushi stores now offer brown or black rice, which is a great lower-GI alternative to white sushi rice. Choose salmon, tuna, or grilled chicken for the filling instead of fried and mayo-mixed fillings, go light on the soy sauce and enjoy with a side of edamame for a healthy takeaway meal. 

4. Thai 

Just like any cuisine, some Thai dishes are healthier than others. When ordering Thai takeaway, fill up first on a fresh papaya salad or a side of stir-fried vegetables, then share dishes such as grilled fish and satay skewers. You could also opt for a broth-based soup instead of coconut milk base, rice paper rolls instead of spring rolls, or order your curry with extra vegetables so you can save some for the next day instead of eating a huge amount in one sitting. 

5. Dumplings

It’s no surprise that dumplings are a popular takeaway option considering how tasty and more-ish they are. Dumplings come in a range of flavors and styles, so can vary in terms of how healthy they are. We recommend opting for steamed dumplings instead of fried and ordering a range of lean meat and vegetable fillings. If you can, order a side of vegetables as well to help fill you up and avoid excess kilojoule intake. 

6. Pizza

You might be pleasantly surprised to see pizza on this list, but listen closely before you go ahead and order that pepperoni, triple-cheese topped pizza. Pizza is a real crowd-pleaser, but it can be very easy to eat a large amount of carbohydrates and kilojoules in one sitting. Depending on where you are ordering pizza from, opt for a thin crust pizza and limit processed meats in the toppings. Try a prawn and rocket pizza with a side of salad or roasted vegetables to share to increase the health factor of this popular takeaway option. 

7. Chinese 

Typical westernized Chinese takeaway dishes are quite high in added sauces, which can increase the kilojoule and sodium content. Avoid anything deep fried and try to share dishes with others so you can have smaller amounts. Always make sure to order extra stir-fried or steamed vegetables on the side to fill up on.  

8. Indian

Westernized favorites such as butter chicken often use butter or ghee and cream in the cooking, which makes these dishes high in saturated fats and kilojoules. Often served with a side of rice and naan bread, these dishes can be easy to over-do kilojoule intake. Sharing dishes with others can be a great way to reduce the kilojoule intake as you can enjoy little bits of a variety of dishes. Enjoy it with a side of brown rice or vegetables.  

9. Burgers

Burgers are one of the most popular takeaway options on delivery apps, however, they should remain a ‘sometimes’ option. Some burgers can be made healthier than others, but they are often consumed with a side of chips, which does increase the kilojoule and fat content of the meal by tenfold. Choose burgers on a wholegrain bun where possible and with at least 2-3 salad ingredients on the bun. Share the chips on the side with a friend to help reduce the kilojoule content, or even better, opt for a refreshing salad instead.

10. Fish and chips 

Fish and chips have been a long-time popular takeaway option in Australia, especially for those days at the beach or on holidays. Although fish is usually recommended as a healthy addition to the diet, coating it in batter and deep-frying it is a less healthy way to consume fish, and adds extra kilojoules and fat to the meal. Additionally, when you factor in those deep-fried chips on the side, the kilojoules can easily add up. For a healthier alternative, choose grilled fish instead, and try opting for side salads instead of chips.  

Always seek the guidance of your doctor, dietitian or other qualified health professional prior to starting a new eating plan. 

Explore more content like this in our series, Ask a Dietitian

Health & Performance Collective is the brainchild of Sydney Dietitians Jessica Spendlove and Chloe McLeod. They use their 20 years of combined knowledge and skills as dietitians to work with motivated people to live and perform at their best.

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