The Healthiest Takeaway: A Guide to the Best and Worst Options

If you’re looking for a quick meal or fancy some good food without leaving the comfort of your home, there’s nothing better than a takeaway. But with takeaways often being the cause for unhealthy eating habits, it’s hard to navigate ordering food when you’re trying to watch what you eat. 

Bodyline will be taking a look what’s in a takeaway that makes it so unhealthy and offering the best and worst choices for a healthy takeaway. Whether you’re looking for Italian, Indian, or Chinese food, we’ve got you covered!

Why are we so tempted by a takeaway?

Takeaway is a popular option in the UK for a number of reasons. It’s quick, it’s convenient, and it can be cheaper than eating out at a restaurant. Plus, there are so many different cuisines and restaurants to choose from now-a-days, all with a touch of a button! 

We’ve become so used to 24/7 access to food, that it can be rather hard to say no to now. And now that it’s all from an app on your phone, you don’t even need to get up from where you’re sitting to order it. 

But when it comes to healthy eating, ordering takeaway can be a bit of a minefield. With so many tempting options on the menu, it can be hard to know which might be the healthiest choice. That’s why here at Bodyline, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to takeaway ordering. Next time a takeaway is on the cards, you’ll know exactly what to order!

If you’re struggling with your eating habits and can’t seem to lose weight, Bodyline offers bespoke medical weight loss programmes to help you boost your results and lose weight quickly and sustainably. Over 100,000 clients have seen success, most losing up to a stone in the first month! Call us for an initial consultation on 0800 995 6036 – or fill in our online contact form for a call back!

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So why is takeaway food so unhealthy?

Here are just a few reasons why takeaway foods are not ideal when you are looking to eat healthily or trying to lose weight.

  • Most takeaway foods are high in fat, salt, and sugar as most foods are cooked with excessive amounts of oil, sodium, and pure sugar. 
  • They’re often fried, which can increase the number of calories significantly. 
  • Takeaway food is usually served in large portions, which often leads to overeating as you ignore your body’s signs to tell you it’s full. 
  • They are usually very high in calories
  • Takeaway food is usually low in fibre and nutrients.

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Some of the healthiest takeaway meals in the UK include:


  • Chow Mein, usually stir fried with large quantities of fresh vegetables – choose chicken or prawn for a healthy source of protein!
  • Vegetable based dishes like green pepper and black bean sauce or broccoli and mushrooms, paired with lean protein like beef, chicken or prawns
  • Soups, like hot and sour or chicken and sweetcorn – all are filling and tasty and packed with vegetables
  • Grilled chicken instead of battered chicken. Chicken is a lean protein that’s low in fat and calories, but when battered and deep fried you’re getting more than double the fat and calories. 

South Asian/Curries:

  • Vegetarian curry, curries are often packed with veggies, making them a healthy option. Just be sure to check the ingredients list to make sure there’s no added sugar or cream.
  • Saag Aloo, spinach and potato-based dish that fills you with iron and healthy complex carbohydrates
  • Chapati and Roti breads are cooked in tandoori ovens, and have significantly less calories than filled naans


  • Fish is a healthy option, but it’s often fried in batter. If you order fish and chips without the batter, it will be a healthier choice – same for sausages!
  • Go for small portions of chips to reduce calories or share a normal portion, you honestly won’t notice the difference as they’re so filling!
  • Mushy peas or baked beans to ensure you’re eating at least one of your five-a-day


  • Order smaller sizes of pizzas with thinner crusts to reduce your simple carbohydrate intake
  • Ensure toppings have plenty of vegetables so you are still getting vitamins and minerals
  • Some pizza places offer low calorie options with salads – try those out when you can!

Some of the unhealthiest takeaway items in the UK include:

  • Fried chicken isn’t just high in fat, but it’s covered in a deep-fried batter which is extremely high in calories.
  • Pizza, while a classic favourite, is often high in fat and salt, and some popular garlic and herb dipping sauces contain almost 700 calories!
  • Chinese fried rice is another popular option, but this is often high in calories and salt. Swap it for boiled rice for a healthier meal.
  • Curries can be incredibly high in oils, fats, and salt, so always be wary when ordering and be sure to ask for the ingredients if you’re unsure!
  • Kebabs are a UK favourite after a night out, but they are often high calories and can be very greasy and fatty. Try a chicken and vegetable skewer or shish kebab with salad for a healthy alternative!
  • Burgers can be high in fat too, and really aren’t a nutritional meal – especially served with chips. Why not try a ‘naked burger’ by forgoing the burger bun and enjoying the meat patty with its salad and sides!

So there you have it! Our guide to the best and worst takeaway options for your health. Next time you’re in a hurry or craving a takeaway you’ll know exactly what to order!

Start your medical weight loss journey today

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