The surprisingly healthy side of “Fast” Food

Taryn Davies
Published: August 31, 2017

Whenever you don’t feel like cooking or going out for dinner, getting a takeaway is an easy option. However, you might feel a bit naughty because takeaway is often associated with unhealthy food. Well, think again because as a matter of fact, takeaway might actually be better for you than you thought.

In fact, some of your favourite meals could even have health benefits. Though lots of takeaway options aren’t that good for you, there are a significant amount of healthy ones which may come as a surprise:


This Japanese meal usually consists of different dishes, made principally with white rice (cooked and flavoured with mirin vinegar), seafood and vegetables. It is often wrapped in seaweed (Maki sushi) and served with wasabi or soy sauce. This low-calorie option has moderate amounts of carbohydrates from the rice and lean proteins from the fish or shellfish.

Some of the common fish used include tuna, red snapper, Japanese yellowtail and salmon, which all contain omega-3 fatty acids. These promote brain and eye health. They have also been shown to help with asthma and prevent cancer, arthritis and heart disease. And don’t forget that wasabi can also help to defend against infections and seasonal allergies. You might not consider sushi a typical takeaway food, but with companies like Deliveroo now including sushi in their home delivery choices, there’s no need to make a special trip to a sushi bar.

The surprisingly healthy side of fast food


The original Shish kebabs are said to have been made by Turkic tribesmen, when they invaded Anatolia; they grilled meat on their swords over field fires. Nowadays, although swords are definitely not used, these kebabs are easily found at your nearest takeaway, served with pita bread and salad.

Choosing lean meat or fish will reduce fat and calorie intake. These are good protein sources and adding salad provides fibre to aid in digestion and vitamins to boost your immune system. And if you want to be extra healthy, you can even ask for the excess fat to be trimmed off when ordering your kebab.

The surprisingly healthy side of fast food


Even though salads may not be a big surprise on this list, many people forget that salads don’t only have to consist of vegetables and that a takeaway salad might have some more interesting and exotic ingredients. With plenty of leafy greens, a salad is generally beneficial to your health in many ways: Greens contain iron, which is important for the production of red blood cells, calcium for healthy bones and teeth and beta-carotene to support the immune system.

Choosing salads with differently textured foods, e.g. avocado, potato, meat, fish or beans, and adding a dressing or even some fruit like mango could spice up your salad choice.

The surprisingly healthy side of fast food

Sandwiches and Wraps

Sandwiches may not be your ideal Friday night takeaway choice, but they can be a great option for lunch at work. If you are going for this choice then try to opt for wholemeal bread or wraps because the refined flour used to make white bread loses bran and wheat germ when being processed. Bran, a dietary fibre, can help to prevent breast cancer, stomach cancer and gallbladder disease and wheat germ is packed full of nutrients like zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and more.

As with a salad, texture is the key to a perfect sandwich. Try ordering them with a variety of vegetables and meats, this provides extra vitamins and protein.

Overall, though it’s best to incorporate some home-cooked meals alongside the takeaways, these are just a few of the healthier options that will keep your diet balanced, but keep your taste buds tingling.