Takeout Tips: Order This, Not That

Who doesn’t love a night off from cooking? Ordering take-out is fun (and delicious) for the whole family, but oftentimes, we give in to our guilty pleasures and don’t always opt for the healthiest menu items.

But we’ve got good news. You CAN have the best of both worlds by changing up your normal food selections and swapping them for more health-conscious items.

Here are some tips.

Italian: Did someone say pizza? We’re already drooling. Make your pizza healthier by opting for thin crust when it’s an option. You might even have the option to choose a cauliflower or gluten-free crust. When it comes to pasta, tomato-based sauces typically have less saturated fat than creamy options like carbonara.

Mexican: Craving tacos? Skip the sour cream. We promise it will still taste good. If you’re choosing beans as a side, go for whole beans over refried beans. Refried beans are sometimes made with added lard. If you love burritos, opt for a veggie bowl instead—it has nearly all of the same ingredients as a burrito with the benefits of added veggies, minus the tortilla.

Thai: Spring rolls are yummy, but they’re usually fried. Choose summer rolls instead as they’re steamed and packed full of veggies. If it’s on the menu, give a green papaya salad a try for something unique!

Chinese: Many Chinese take-out dishes come with a side of rice. Instead of choosing white, go for brown, which has more fiber and micronutrients. You’ll likely see that many meat (and maybe even veggie) options on the menu are fried. Choose a steamed option instead, with any sauce on the side.

American: Regular burgers are often loaded with saturated fat. Instead, give a black bean or veggie burger a try. You can still add your favorite toppings, like lettuce, onion and tomatoes. While we can’t tell you French fries are healthy, choosing sweet potato fries over those made with russet potatoes do offer more nutrients. Craving a bowl full of comfort? Typically, broth-based soups are healthier than those made with a cream base.

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