Healthy takeaway options: Ideas to get good food, fast

30.11.18 Grow, Learn Blog SumoSalad

Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes with these takeaway food ideas

According to Diabetes Australia, two million Australians have pre-diabetes – but many people don’t know they have it because it has no obvious signs or symptoms.  Pre-diabetes is a warning. It’s like a big flashing road sign that tells you the next destination is type 2 diabetes unless you take some action now.  Pre-diabetes happens when your average blood glucose level is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as having diabetes.  Some risks of developing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are unavoidable such as family history and ethnic background, but lifestyle choices play a big part.

Sumo Salad have partnered with MyHealthTest to check your risk of diabetes using the MyHealthTest diabetes test service. Enter the coupon code SUMO18 at the checkout for an extra 10% OFF

When you’re thinking about the best ways to prevent type 2 diabetes, the key is to stay healthy and active, because that will help to manage your blood sugar levels and your body weight over time. But with our busy lives and love of convenience, it’s no wonder we increasingly turn to takeaway food for our next meal.  In fact, we get our food ‘to go’ about 2.5 times a week, according to market research.

But not all takeaway food is created equal.

While some foods will add a hefty amount of salt, sugar and fat to your daily intake, there are plenty of healthy takeaway options. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look and what to choose.

In this article, we’ve outlined a few things to keep in mind to make sure your next takeaway order is as healthy as possible.

1. Remember your ratios 

There’s no need to skip the vegetables just because you’re eating out, especially as many Australians are already coming up short on veggies in their diet.

According to Nutrition Australia, adults should have about five serves of vegetables and legumes each day. However, most of us only eat about half of this recommended amount. So, to make healthy takeaway choices, remember to base your meal on vegetables as much as possible.

More vegetables, fruits and plant-based foods can also help you lose weight – which is another way to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This means things like salads, vegetable curries and stir-fries are good options. But go easy on the sauce, because it can often be high in sodium or fat. But also remember to steer clear of battered and fried foods.

Writing in the Healthy Food Guide, dietitian Debbie Iles says “sadly, veggies lose their health benefits when they’re battered and deep-fried.” So, skip the onion rings and fries, and opt for fresh or steamed vegetables when you can.

2. Find out what’s in your meal

One drawback of takeaway food is it’s difficult to know exactly what’s in your meal or how it was cooked.  Don’t be afraid to ask about what’s included – all ingredients might not be listed.

If you have a regular or favourite takeaway joint, it’s a good idea to ask about the ingredients they use and their cooking methods, so you can choose the healthiest options.

“When ordering a salad, look for dark green leaves and lots of colour (orange, red, purple etc). Don’t scrimp on the dressing – but ask what oil is used…Polyunsaturated ones are the most healthful (think canola oil), followed by olive oil.” Professor Jennie Brand-Miller

3. Control your portions

Portion size is a big issue when you’re eating out or ordering in.

In fact, recent research from the George Institute of Global Health  found the sizes of pizza, processed meats, cereal bars, ice cream and wine have increased by up to 66% since the 1990s.

So, when you’re looking for healthy takeaway options, it’s also important to consider the size of the meal and whether it’s meant to be shared.

Getting the portion size right for you will leave you feeling satisfied and energised, rather than over-full and sluggish for the rest of the day.

Here are a few tips on getting your portion sizes right from the Healthy Weight Guide:

  • Start meals with salad, which fills you up, so you eat less of the main course
  • Use smaller plates and bowls so you get used to serving and eating smaller meals
  • Eat more slowly
  • Put leftovers away (or freeze them) as soon as you finish eating so you’re not tempted to have more
  • Choose ‘small’ or ‘regular’ servings rather than large ones
  • Say no to ‘value meals’ and ‘upsizing’, which encourage you to take in extra kilojoules
  • Drink water with your meal  

Source: Australian Healthy Weight Guide

Have you checked your risk of diabetes?

One of the key ways to check your risk of pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes is with an HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) blood test.  An HbA1c test shows your average blood sugar levels over the past eight to 12 weeks.  You can do this test via a traditional needle-in-vein blood test at a pathology collection centre, or via MyHealthTest’s at-home fingerprick test service.  And, the good news is, if you know you have pre-diabetes, you may be able to lower the risk of your condition progressing.


We’ve pulled some strings over at MyHealthTest to give our Sumo Salad subscribers an exclusive special discount off their diabetes test service. Simply enter the coupon code SUMO18 at the checkout for an extra 10% OFF.

You can also visit Diabetes Australia for more information about pre-diabetes and diabetes or speak with your doctor.


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