Eating Healthy on the Go – Some Takeaways

Consumption habits are changing for time-crunched consumers who increasingly forgo the traditional three meals a day and eat when it best fits their schedule, which is often on the go. Many of us eat at least one main meal a week from a takeaway, so the choice of food we make can have a significant impact on our calories and health.

When we do our weekly shopping at the supermarket, we take the trouble to read the packaging for sugar, salt and fat contents and calorie counts. And when we’re home, we can control what comes into the kitchen and what lands on our plates.

But what happens when we’re on the go?

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Here are some takeaways to help you enjoy your food on the go without feeling guilty:

  • Think ‘portions’ - reduce the calorie counts and reduce your portions by using a normal-sized dinner plate and not overfilling it. Avoid ordering anything ‘big’ ‘large’ or ‘whopper’. Go for ‘mini’, ‘standard’ and ‘regular’.
  • Avoid or reduce dressings/sauces as the culprits – fats, sugar and salt – are lurking in these in abundance.

Request for salad dressing, sauce, cheese, or toppings on the side so you can consume sparingly.

Replace cream-based dressing for salads with mustard or totally undressed salad.

Request for salsa or mustard, instead of mayonnaise or sugar-filled ketchup for your sandwich.

Request for sour cream or butter for your baked potato instead of cheese.

For Indian takeaways – have tandoori or tikka dishes instead of the creamy curries such as korma. Do not do a bottoms-up for saucy dishes, leave some behind

  • Accompaniments/sides – choose healthier ones and opt for less.

For Indian takeaways – choose one carbohydrate, either naan or bread; choose plain rice instead of pilau rice;

For fast food – opt for small portions of fries or swop them for corn, beans, mushy peas, fruits or salad.

For Chinese takeaway, opt for stir-fried vegetables instead of rice and especially fried rice. Avoid battered stuff and fattening side orders such as spring rolls, crispy seaweed and prawn crackers.

For pizza, opt for a thinner base pizza without the cheese topping and ensure that half of your meal comprises undressed salad.

For fish and chips, go for the mini-cod and don’t eat all the batter, especially the soggy section underneath the fish.

  • Avoid sugary drinks, especially the canned fizzy ones and milkshakes. Opt for water.
  • Fast food does not mean fried food. Opt for raw, steamed, grilled, roasted or baked.
  • Go for vegetarian options or if you eat meat, opt for leaner and skinless cuts.
  • Keep healthy snacks such as dried fruits, mixed nuts and fruits handy in your purse or bag for moments when hunger strikes and a healthy food option is not available

Share your tips for eating healthy on-the-go.