Restaurant and takeaway foods are often high in kilojoules, saturated fat, sugar and salt. Follow these tips to make a healthier choice when ordering off the menu.
Top tips for making a healthier choice
- Listen to your hunger cues. Order an entrée sized portion or share a meal with a friend if you are not very hungry.
- Swap out chips for a side of vegetables or salad.
- Ask for sauces and dressings to be served on the side. Where possible, opt for an olive oil or vinegar-based dressing.
- Choose grilled or baked foods instead of deep-fried options (such as crumbed or battered items).
- Swap out greasy pastries with fresh sandwiches or wraps.
- Select lean cuts of meat such as skinless chicken, lean beef and fish instead of highly processed meats such as salami, sausages and bacon.
- When choosing a dessert, consider sharing with a friend or choosing a fruit-based option. Where possible, swap out cream or ice-cream for yoghurt.
- When choosing a drink, swap out alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks for still, sparkling or mineral water
Zesty tzatziki and chicken wrap
Want that take-away feeling at home for a fraction of the price? Give this zesty chicken wrap a try. Mix it up by swapping out the salad ingredients for whatever is in season.
- Order an entrée sized portion or share a meal with a friend if you are not very hungry.
- Choose grilled or baked foods instead of deep-fried options.
- When choosing a dessert, consider sharing with a friend.
- Swap out alcoholic beverages and sugary drinks for still, sparkling or mineral water.
Recommendations for healthier choices
Sandwiches and burgers
- Choose wholegrain or wholemeal bread when available.
- Load up on plenty of vegetables or salads.
- Choose hummus or avocado as an alternative to butter or margarine.
- Limit use of mayonnaise and sauces.
- Choose mixed vegetable dishes.
- Pick vegetable-based side dishes such as edamame.
- Order steamed rice instead of fried.
- Choose rice paper rolls, sushi and sashimi containing vegetables and lean meats.
- Limit deep fried foods such as spring rolls, tempura fried foods, fried noodles and dishes containing coconut cream/milk.
- Avoid adding salty and/or sugary sauces such as soy, hoisin and sweet chilli.
- Choose pasta dishes with tomato or vegetable-based sauces instead of creamy varieties.
- Choose thin pizza bases with a variety of vegetables.
- Best choices are vegetarian or chicken-based pizzas instead of classic pepperoni and meat-lovers style options.
- Order a soft taco or burrito instead of hard-shell taco.
- Include plenty of salad in your soft taco/burrito.
- Choose refried beans as your main protein source and only a small portion of lean meat, chicken or fish.
- Limit sour cream, creamy sauces and corn chips where possible
Lebanese, Greek or Turkish
- Purchase a small kebab loaded with plenty of vegetables.
- Include extras such as tabouli, hummus, tzatziki and salads.
- Avoid deep-fried zucchini balls and falafels.
- Avoid large kebabs with lots of meat filling and cream-based sauces.
- Replace deep fried seafood options with grilled or steamed instead.
- Choose baked potato, salad or vegetables instead of chips/wedges.
Produced by Nutrition Australia ACT Division, October 2016. Reviewed August 2021.