‘Healthy’ Takeaways That Are Loaded with Calories

Nutrition // Caroline Attwood

Be honest – the chances are, you’ll have consumed at least two takeaways this week.

There’s always the temptation of a Friday night pizza, Thursday lunchtime burger or, dare we say it, muffin with your coffee. Even that cheeky chicken sandwich counts.

It’s not necessarily your fault. As our lives get busier and fresh food becomes more expensive, takeaway is an increasingly attractive option. This is especially true for those cooking for one.

So, while we know fried foods should be enjoyed sparingly, what about the options we tell ourselves are healthy?

Here are seemingly ‘healthy’ takeaways that are, in fact, loaded with calories:

Fancy sushi

Japanese food can be light, fresh and low in calories – depending on what you order. Sashimi, for example, is a great source of natural fats and omega-3 acids.

However, sushi that is loaded with fried chicken or fish, mayo and cream cheese is high in calories and low in nutritional value.

  • Avoid: 7 pieces of fried prawn sushi with mayo =  508 calories
  • Try: 8 pieces of tuna sushi with cucumber = 184 calories

Thai stir-fry

There’s nothing more satisfying than Thai takeaway on a busy weeknight. However, depending on what you order, you could be consuming way more calories than you thought.

  • Avoid: Chicken with cashew nut stir-fry = 325 calories per 100g serve
  • Try: Mixed vegetable stir-fry with oyster sauce =  170 calories per two-cup serve

Also read: Hidden Calories in Takeaway Lunches

Chicken salad wrap

Ok, ok – this does depends on your definition of a chicken salad wrap!

If you prefer grilled chicken, fresh salad and a light dusting of mustard or pesto, then you’ve made a low-calorie choice.

The problem starts when you add cheese, creamy dressings, fried or roast chicken and bacon.

  • Avoid: Crumbed chicken with salad, lots of mayo, grated cheese on a white tortilla wrap = up to 1,100 calories
  • Try: Grilled chicken with salad (add mustard or avocado for a flavour hit) on a wholemeal tortilla = 200 calories

Vegetarian nachos

Tex-Mex is a minefield of calories. It’s different to traditional Mexican food, which is light and tomato-based. Tex-Mex is all about sour cream, full-fat cheese, guacamole, deep-fried tortilla chips and pulled pork (delicious, yes!).

  • Avoid: Veggie nachos loaded with cheese, sour cream and guacamole = 836 calories
  • Try: A ‘burrito bowl’ of brown rice, grilled chicken, salsa, black beans and fresh coriander = 413 calories
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