Caitlin Reid explains what to choose next time you’re ordering takeaway or eating out.
Steamed spring rolls
Tom yum soup
Salads like Thai beef
Stir-fries with lean meat or seafood and vegies
Steamed rice, noodles
Deep-fried spring rolls
Red or green curries
Fried noodle dishes
Deep-fried food such as spring rolls is high in kilojoules, fat and, often, saturated fat. When ordering, choose dishes with heaps of vegetables and lean meat like stir-fries. You will reach your daily vegetable intake and won’t fill up on mainly carbohydrate dishes like Pad Thai. Most curries contain coconut cream that is high in saturated fat and kilojoules.
Beef and black bean or pork chop suey
Vegies in oyster sauce
Sesame prawn toast
Chicken chow mein
BBQ duck or pork
Sweet and sour pork
Sesame prawn toast is fried and contains three times the kilojoules of a satay stick. Clear soups will contain fewer kilojoules than cloudy, and will help fill you up. Look for main dishes that contain lots of vegetables and are in a light sauce such as oyster or black bean. BBQ pork and duck contain a lot of fat in the meat so steer clear of these options.
Pasta with tomato or wine-based sauce
Seafood dishes (not fried or creamy)
Garlic or herb bread
Pasta with cream or butter sauces
Garlic and herb bread have butter added making them high in kilojoules, fat and sodium. Tomato pasta sauces are kinder to your waistline than creamy sauces. Always choose a side salad when ordering, and avoid dishes with large amounts of cheese, butter or cream, such as lasagne, risotto and parmigiana.
Roti with raita or dahl
Lean meat vindaloo or tandoori
Lentil or vegie curries, or rogan josh
Fried dishes like samosas and kofta
Creamy curry sauces
Even vegetable samosas are deep-fried, making them high in kilojoules and saturated fat. If you feel like a curry, look for lentil/vegetable curries or rogan josh, as these do not contain coconut cream. Unlike naan bread, roti is made with wholemeal flour – a better, healthier choice.
Rice paper rolls
Canh (clear broth)
Seafood or lean meat stir-fries or noodles
Bánh chu’ng (sticky rice and mung beans)
Bò kho (beef and vegetable stew)
Any fried dishes
Bánh xèo (crepe with pork, coconut oil)
Mi xao don (crisp, deep-fried noodles)
Look for meals with the most vegetables and steer clear of dishes that contain fatty meat and curries with coconut cream. Lower the fat and kilojoule intake by avoiding dishes that have crispy deep-fried noodles. Choose the salads, clear broths or soups and rice paper rolls.
Dips like tzatziki
Lean meats, game
Grilled seafood, meat
Steer away from deep-fried dishes like kleftiko (meatballs), saganaki (fried cheese) and calamari. Limit pastry-based options.
Chili con carne
Tacos with vegies
Taquito (fried tortilla)
Guacamole, cheese and sour cream add up to high kilojoules and fat. Go for fajitas and build your own. Avoid corn chips or fried corn tortillas. Bean burritos are healthier than beef.
Hamburger with one patty and extra salad
Steamed dim sim
BBQ skinless chicken
Burger with the lot
For a heart-friendly choice, avoid deep-fried dishes to reduce fats and kilojoules. Go for grilled seafood and salad, not chips.
The savings you’ll make*
*Taken from Allan Borushek’s Pocket Calorie and Fat Counter