Guide to eating out and take-away

Guide to eating out and take-away

Eating out and having takeaways are an important part of the lifestyle for many people and offer the opportunity to socialize, meet friends, and take a break from food preparation and clearing up. However, habitually eating out and having takeaways is likely to mean that intakes of fat, saturated fat, salt, and sugar are much higher than recommended and this is very likely to be the case if fast-food meals are treated as snacks rather than as meals. 

For suggestions for healthier eating out and takeaway options, see below.;

Eating out and take away tips


Avoid sausage rolls, pastries, and pastry-based products as these are high in fat, saturated fat and salt. Choose sandwiches or rolls and look for those without mayonnaise and with some salad. Bread-based cakes such as currant buns, teacakes or iced buns are better choices than pastry-based cakes.


Choose thin-crust pizzas, and pizzas without cheese in the crust. Avoid garlic bread. Avoid having extra cheese, or fatty meat such as pepperoni. Add more vegetables or fish toppings instead. Eat a salad with pizza.

Indian Takeaway

Good choices: Tandoori chicken or other meat or fish (which is cooked in an oven), chicken or other meat or fish tikka (on a skewer without sauce), dry curries, vegetable curries, dahl, channa dahl, plain boiled rice, chapatti or roti bread.

High-fat foods to avoid

Papadums and other fried foods such as samosas and onion bhajia, creamy or coconut-based sauces (such as korma sauces), fried rice (such as pilau rice), and pieces of bread which have a lot of fat added (such as stuffed naan bread).

Chinese Takeaway

Good choices: Stir-fries, chicken, vegetable or prawn chop suey, steamed fish, vegetable dishes, boiled noodles, and dishes with steamed tofu.

High-fat foods to avoid: 

Avoid battery (for example, sweet and sour chicken, battered bananas or apple fritters), spring rolls and prawn crackers. Avoid fried rice dishes and fried noodles.

Fish and chip shops

Fish is a good choice but the batter is high in fat so eat less or no batter. Choose small portions of chips. Mushy peas or baked beans are a good accompaniment. Avoid pies or battered sausage-type products.

Burger bars

Go for standard rather than ‘super-size’ options. Choose a plain burger in a bun with a salad. Avoid extra cheese or mayonnaise, thick milkshakes, chicken nuggets, or other battered dishes such as onion rings. Choose smaller portions of chips or ask for a salad or raw vegetables instead of chips.


Look for sandwiches that don’t contain mayonnaise and for ones that are made with brown or wholemeal bread. You can usually check the nutritional content of sandwiches on the label, so choose those lower in fat and salt.

Takeaway salads

Some ready-prepared salad bowls have a lot of mayonnaise or oil-based dressings and may be designed for two people. Check the labels and choose lower-fat single portions.

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