What to Order for Takeout: What is healthy and what is not?

How often do you do takeout? Whether it’s once a month or once a week, there are some things to take into consideration before picking up the phone. It is useful to have strategies and knowledge about ordering healthy takeout rather than fast food that will throw you off track.

There ARE options out there that can fit into a healthy plan that are not just plain, bland or boring. 

We will be covering some of our favorite takeout options. Watch the video below for the full deets!


First off, we want to be sure to say PORTIONS is the most important word here–it is ok to have a little of the higher calorie stuff if you really watch portions. SHARE and don’t overeat!!!

1. Italian

Watch out for dishes with creamy, buttery sauces (alfredo, vodka, carbonara), in addition to f ried options like rice balls or fried calamari. Additionally, c hicken or eggplant parmesan will most likely have too much bread and cheese.

When it comes to pizza, all the bread and cheese makes it not quite a healthy option. If you do order, many places are starting to have cauliflower crust pizza.

Always order a salad with pizza! Also go for veggie rather than meat pizza with thin slices and stick to 2 slices.

Better choices:

  • Grilled octopus or calamari
  • Minestrone soup
  • Steamed, broiled or grilled fish/chicken
  • Tomato based sauces (marinara)
  • Chicken paillard – steamed spinach
  • Pasta appetizer portion; pair with a salad or side veggie

2. Diner 

Watch out for: fried, high carbohydrate type foods such as rolls and lots of pasta.

Some options include grilled chicken with veggies, baked potato-even better- a sweet potato. A lso, eggs are always a great choice or an omelet with veggies.

Burgers could be on lettuce instead of the bun. There are l ots of salad options at diners – always ask for dressing on the side and olive oil and vinegar always best.

3. Turkish 

Watch out for fried food or too much cheese.

Some of our suggestions include:

  • Chicken/beef/lamb kebabs
  • Hummus with veggies instead of pita
  • Chicken adana 
  • Lentil soup
  • Salads

4. Japanese

Be careful with sushi, especially if you have gut issues. When consuming raw forms of fish, consider the restaurant source.

A 2020 study led by U of Washington researchers found 283 fold increase since the 70’s  in the abundance of herring worms in raw or undercooked seafood, which can cause food poisoning. 

Good choices include…

  • Edamame
  • Miso soup
  • Naruto rolls (wrapped in cucumber instead of rice) 
  • Sashimi cucumber roll
  • Sashimi pieces
  • Salad with 2 tbs ginger dressing
  • Seaweed salad
  • Teriyaki chicken or salmon

5. Indian

Indian spices are great! However, they do cook in quite a bit of butter, ghee, and oil and many things are fried, especially the appetizers, so you have to be careful. Avoid samosas, tikka masala and korma, which are often made with heavy cream and ghee. Paneer also uses the high fat cheese. 

Healthier options include:

  • Tandoori
  • Kebabs
  • “From the Grill” (chicken, lamb with veggies)
  • Chana masala (garbanzo)
  • Aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower with lots of spices)
  • Raita

6. Chinese 

When eating Chinese food, watch out for: fried foods, too many carbs, white rice/noodles, fried wonton/dumplings, egg rolls, sugary foods like orange chicken and general Tso’s chicken.

Instead, you can order steamed chicken/beef/shrimp/veggies with sauce on the side and a little bit of brown rice. We often order an extra serving of veggies.

7. Mexican

Watch out for: tortilla chips/nachos and deep fried things like taquitos. Most burritos are super heavy with lots of cheese and burrito wraps can be super high carb. Keep rice to a minimum. 

A well sourced, healthy lifestyle bowl would include:

Supergreens lettuce blend, chicken, fajita veggies, fresh tomato salsa and guac, and you can add extra protein. Additionally, you can go for  cauliflower rice bowls with veggies, meat, and guacamole.

Having more strategies like this helps you incorporate healthy eating into your lifestyle without feeling like you are always depriving yourself. Fitting healthy eating into your everyday life is one of the core tenets we work on in our 3 month Simply Nourished program. This program offers so much as it gives us a chance to go deep into eating issues and breaking old habits and allows us to give support and accountability to our members. 

Hope you enjoy these tips!

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stephanie goodman and jane schwartz


Jane and Stephanie, creators of The Simply Nourished Solution™, are nutritionists who help women over 50 go from overweight, frustrated, and inflamed to lighter and healthier so they can be more active, feel good in their bodies, and live the second half of life with energy and confidence. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.


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