Takeouts are fun and fuss-free ways to unwind after a long week, and try some delicious food in the process. There are plenty of options you might consider, but these are some of the foods you’ll probably want to avoid.
Eggs are a bad choice because of their tendency to be smelly, particularly when they aren’t fresh. Another thing that makes eggs a problem, and a poor choice for takeout, is that cold eggs actually taste disgusting, and this means they can’t be enjoyed the morning after when you’re inevitably too stuffed from the rest of your Uber Eats feast!
2. Meatball subs
Meatball subs are a delicious Italian American classic and might be exactly what you’re craving in the moment, but they are a poor choice for takeouts. When you receive your sub it will likely be a soggy, wet liquid mess, full of calories, and not as tasty or satisfying as you might have hoped.
Whilst steak might be a staple for anyone looking to eat out at a restaurant, they are less of a good choice for delivery or takeout. Cold or lukewarm steak is actually pretty disgusting so, if you are looking to enjoy the best and juiciest steaks without going out, fire up the BBQ, and get grilling yourself!
4. Sweet and sour chicken
When you order a Chinese, sweet and sour chicken might be a staple of choice for you, but it can actually be one of the poorest options on offer. Packed full of fat and sugar, this is one of the least healthy options for your already calorie heavy takeout. So, try to choose something that is a little healthier or fresher when you next order.
Sushi can be an acquired taste at times, but is the go to treat for many foodies. The thing with sushi is that you might not be getting the fish you thought you were actually getting. It is best to make sure you only order sushi from a restaurant or, if you really are limited to takeaway only, you should consider sticking to vegetarian options.
6. Thai curry dishes
Thai curry is among the most tasty and delicious options when you want a wonderful takeout dish. Often, though, these dishes are made up of low-quality meat because the sauces tend to mask this. There is a lot of fat kept in and they are not the most healthy takeout of choice; maybe consider making your own.
7. Egg and tuna salad sandwiches
There are two core issues with choosing egg and tuna salad sandwiches; the first being that they’re high in fat, and the second being that they can spoil easily if they aren’t eaten immediately. Unless you are going to be eating in the restaurant, it is probably advisable to overlook egg and tuna salad sandwiches.
8. Mexican-style fast food
Mexican dishes are delightful, fresh and some of the best takeouts we have in this country. Ingredients such as avocado, beans, and rice soon add up in calories, though, despite how delicious and even healthy they first may seem. The best thing you can do is to get a salad, and make sure you get the toppings and dressings both on the side.
Yes, unfortunately, the cliche is correct – cheeseburgers are not good for your health. What’s worse still is that a takeaway burger is likely to be made with low-quality meat and processed cheese. They’re high in calories as well as sodium, making them a poor choice for those that are even remotely health conscious.
Smoothies are an excellent choice for a seemingly healthy and nutritious drink, but the pre-made options aren’t actually as healthy as you might believe. They can often be very high in sugar, so you are much better off making your own. It’s time to bring out the blender thats been lurking at the back of your cupboard for the last year!
11. Anything fried
According to health experts, you should try to avoid anything deep fried when you order takeout. Seems obvious, right?! The problem is that these foods are fried in oils that can clog our pores, and the foods are likely to arrive soggy. Unless these dishes are cooked in high-quality oils, you should try to avoid them as much as possible.
12. Rice noodles
Whilst it is true that rice noodles are generally a healthier and more delicious option than wheat noodles, but the problem is that they tend to get rock hard once they cool, and this can also lead to health issues such as constipation. When it comes to making the right takeout choices, try to make sure you avoid rice noodles.
Soup is a hugely tempting choice on a cold winter’s night, but takeout soup is far from a good choice. The issue with ordering in soup is that the consistency and high temperature means it can prove to be a health hazard, absorbing chemicals from the food containers and risking burns for whoever is picking it up!
Cheesecake is one of the tastiest dessert choices, but it doesn’t actually travel as well as you might think. One of the reasons why cheesecake is a poor choice for takeout is because the crust can fall apart and breakdown in transit or, similarly, all those delicious toppings can find themselves being squashed, making it a choice to think twice about.
Pasta is a staple dish for many diners and often an ideal choice for a restaurant dish. However, when it comes to takeouts, you will find that the portion sizes can become an issue with pasta. A lot of the time, a takeout portion of pasta is typically much smaller than you think, and this may lead to overeating or feelings of dissatisfaction.
Bacon is just about the best thing ever, but it is not a great choice for ordering in. When you order takeout with bacon, it will tend to arrive either bacon that looks a little raw and full of white fat, or charred and over cooked, with a burnt aftertaste.
17. Stuffed crust pizza
Pizza is one of the classic choices when it comes to ordering takeout, and this might be the choice for you, but you need to make sure you avoid stuffed crust. They are high in fats and carbohydrates, and a thin crust option is a far healthier choice for you.
Wraps often seem like a great choice, as they are considered to be healthier than sandwiches but they’re actually packed full of fat. The filling might be healthy, but the entire thing together is something that is going to add more calories. They’re obviously flatter, so at times considered less filling; if you do order one, you need to implement portion control.
19. Onion rings
Onion rings might be delicious and crispy when you get them out, but ordering them in is going to result in nothing but soggy, limp batter. They’ll inevitably fall short of the delicious snack you were hoping for, leaving you a little more than disappointed with your choice. If you’re eating in a restaurant, then go ahead! Just avoid when taking away.
20. Herbal teas
Herbal teas should be avoided when it comes to takeout options, and this is chiefly due to the ludicrous prices involved, with a cost of around $2-4! Instead of ordering in herbal teas, you can buy an entire box of herbal tea for a few dollars, and make your own for much less money.
21. Fettuccine alfredo
Fettuccine is one of the worst meals you can choose for takeout from an Italian restaurant. One of the reasons for this is the fact that the iconic very creamy, cheesy and buttery, which makes it very high in fat and calories, and incredibly bad for your health. Plus, it only tastes good fresh, and the ingredients start to solidify if left too long.
22. Ice cream
Ice cream is one of the most popular dessert foods in the world and it’s not hard to see why, but it’s a real nightmare for takeout and delivery options. It might sound obvious but, despite advancements made in delivery technologies, there is very little to stop it winding up little more than a slushy, liquid mess by the time it reaches you.
Nachos are a gorgeous crispy and crunchy dish that can so often hit that spot, but they aren’t really the best choice for ordering in. Crunchy nachos fast become soggy and the sauce can congeal into a disgusting goo. You’re better off trying to do DIY nachos yourself at home.
Avocado is one of the best foods for healthy eating, as it’s packed full of vitamins and minerals that are great for your body. However, avocado does not have a long shelf life, and can turn brown very quickly. Plus, if placed near other hot dishes, it can go kind of gross when warm. If you’re ordering dishes with avocado in, you’re pretty much flipping a coin.
25. French fries
French fries hit their culinary peak as soon as they are removed from the oven, giving them a pretty short . Fries do not travel well, and if you order them as part of your takeout, you could wind up with a box that is cold and soggy.
26. Grilled cheese sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwiches are succulent and juicy, but the gooey and explosive delight of the cheese will solidify in transit, winding up as a disgusting and rubbery mess. Grilled cheese sandwiches are a great option at home, but less great for takeouts. They’re easy enough – just make it yourself!
27. Noodle soup
We’ve already covered how soup is a poor choice for takeouts, but noodle soup specifically is also a bad choice. You should only go for noodle soup if you are sure that the broth and noodles will be packaged separately, because putting them together could result in bloated, limp noodles, and very little actual soup.
Seafood can be a healthy and delicious choice for any meal, but it’s one that needs to be done right. You want it fresh and straight off the grill, making it a bad choice for delivery. The residual heat from storage can wind up overcooking it, which would be a real waste.
Salad is an excellent, healthy choice to go as a side with your main meal, something a lot of people like to enjoy as part of their takeout. The problem with this is that, due to moisture levels during the storage process, salads could be a breeding ground for bacteria, such as salmonella. At best, your leaves could become incredibly limp or soggy, at worst, you could become seriously ill.
Chili is one of best and tastiest options that you can enjoy when it comes to a filling and energizing meal. However, chili is not such a great choice for your takeout. This is largely because it is often made from leftover patties and then reheated each morning, risking bacteria and in general just not tasting quite so great. Avoid this and make your own fresh chilli instead!
Okay, maybe you’re not ordering ice itself as part of your takeout, but you have almost definitely ordered a drink that comes with it in as standard! A lot of ice machines are full of mold, as they’re forgotten about in the cleaning process. Many restaurant employees admit that these machines do not get the cleaning they need, so this is something you need to avoid when ordering!
32. Veggie burgers
It’s great that more takeout places are offering plant-based options. However, if you’re a strict veggie or vegan, these patties are often cooked on the very same grill as meat burgers. With takeouts, you don’t get to see the standard of the establishment firsthand, so can never really eliminate the concern of cross-contamination. You could go for shop-bought burgers instead, and make your own.
Sprouts are incredibly versatile – soft and moist when boiled, crisp and fresh when fried. Regardless, they have a unique and delicious flavor that often gets a bad rep! They can, however, be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria – making ordering them from an unknown takeout a risky business. Contaminated sprouts can lead to things like salmonella.
34. Freshly-squeezed juice
Freshly-squeezed juice might sound like one of the tastiest luxuries that you can enjoy, but ordering it in is something you should probably second guess. The problem is that freshly-squeezed juice is unpasteurized, and this means that it can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Though it says ‘freshly-squeezed’ you have no idea how long it’s been left to sit in a takeout.
35. Refried beans
Refried beans are a core part of things like fajitas and burritos, they are generally prepared in bulk and kept warm all day. Whilst convenient for takeaways, it’s not so great for the consumer. It’s something that can lead to bacterial growth and best to be avoided when ordering. They’re relatively simple, so instead you might consider making them yourself.
The problem with something like hummus is that, unless you get it from a specific, authentic establishment, it is likely that it is going to be days old. This could lead to it being full of bacteria, so it may be better to try and make it yourself instead. It’s super simple, just pulse together chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon, salt and some water to reach your desired consistency.
37. Deli meat sandwiches
Deli meat sandwiches are a great option for a delicious lunch or snack, but the problem is that they come with a high-risk of food poisoning, especially with bacteria such as listeria. This is something that can affect the meat during the processing and is more common than many people first realise, so worth considering when ordering.
38. Fresh fruit salad
Fresh fruit salad is delicious and nutritious, but it might not actually be as healthy as you think. The problem is that some fruits can carry bacterias that can be difficult to get rid of and, as with any takeout, you can never truly be sure of their kitchen standards. A better and more healthy choice would be to prepare your own, especially as it’s a super simple dish to prepare.
Rice is a staple part of almost all takeaway experiences, and this is why it might come as a surprise to see it on this list. The problem with rice is that unless it is served very soon after cooking it can carry a broad range of bacteria. This is a particular concern when it comes to reheating leftovers, as many often do with takeout, which can lead to serious cases of food poisoning.
Wings can be a great addition to any fast food order, but they might not be great for takeout. This is because they might become less crispy and saucy, losing a lot of their texture and, lets be honest, main appeal. Wings are a great choice in a lot of situations, but are probably better for eating in rather than delivery.