Healthy Options for Fast-Food Takeout

If you're like most Americans, life is hectic, and, sometimes, ordering takeout for dinner is the best option for busy families with working parents. But, if you're watching your weight, you will have to choose your entree carefully. Here are the best three options to pick.


Skip the greasy, calorie laden meats, like sausage and pepperoni. Instead, load up on the vegetables. A veggie pizza doesn't need to be boring. Topping combinations like spinach, mushrooms, and onions is tasty and low calorie. Tomatoes, peppers, and olives is another great combination. Choose a thin crust over deep dish. If they have whole wheat or low carb crusts, opt for those. You can also order a side salad so you get even more vegetables and fill up faster. If you must have meat, order a combination like chicken and broccoli or a barbecue chicken pizza with jalapeno peppers.

Chinese Takeout

Hot and sour soup is good starter option if you're counting calories. Steamed dumplings rather than fried is also a good choice. If they offer veggie or shrimp dumplings in addition to meat, this is an even better choice. Skip noodle dishes, like lo mein, and, if brown rice is available, choose that rather than white rice, which has relatively little nutritional value. For main entrees, pick dishes that are steamed rather than sauteed, like chicken or beef with broccoli or shrimp stir fry. Ask for sauces on the side. Vegetable egg foo young is a good option it's packed with protein. Skip deep-fried dishes like sesame chicken, which is high in calories from both the fat and the sauce it is swimming in. Check out menus from takeout restaurants like Empress Express and look for these healthier options.

Mexican Food

Americanized Mexican food usually packs a calorie punch with all the cheese and sour cream, but authentic Mexican food doesn't offer nearly as many calories. Fish tacos with a fresh cabbage slaw are a healthy and low-calorie option. Shrimp tacos with chopped, fresh cilantro is another wise choice. Skip the calorie-rich sour cream and choose heart-healthy, low calorie guacamole instead. You will want to pass on the re-fried beans, as they are usually cooked in lard, and choose simply prepared black beans instead. Go heavy on the vegetables, and ask for the cheese on the side so you can control the portion size. Request the various salsas available at most Mexican restaurants to add additional flavor. While tasty, options like loaded nachos and enchiladas are not the best options.