Whilst many people love the taste and convenience of takeaway food, many are concerned about the health issues, for which such “fast” foods have a reputation. There are, however, healthy takeaway foods available and one of the best can be obtained from the Lebanese takeaway. The basic ingredients of Lebanese food is a great starting point since it is mostly made up lean meats, fresh vegetables and healthy grains. The Lebanese diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world and matches the advice given by western doctors for health.
Here are 5 tips to make sure that you stay healthy using Lebanese food, either from the Lebanese takeaway or even if you choose to make it at home.
Tip #1 – Order or make Laban
This is plain healthy yoghurt and is used as a base in many Lebanese dishes such as meat stew and zucchini (or courgette if you are English) with Laban and as such it provides a wonderful creamy taste and texture. The recipe for the dish is available freely on the internet and if you see it included in a dish in a Lebanese takeaway then you can be sure it’s healthy.
Tip #2 – Be careful which meat dishes you order
Although meat is often used in Lebanese cooking, some dishes are far healthier than others due to the method of preparation and cooking. Choose lamb bajeen, kibbeh kbeibat (meatballs) or kafta mishweh (skewered meat) for the healthy option. These dishes are generally grilled or baked. Alternatively choose one of the many seafood dishes which occupy Lebanese takeaway menus.
Tip #3 – Eat lots of vegetables from the menu
The Lebanese eat plenty of whatever vegetables are in season including cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, olives, garlic, and chickpeas. The beauty of Lebanese cooking is that the vegetables are combined with spices and seasoning which enhances the flavor of the fresh vegetables. Dates and Figs are also popular.
Tip #4 – Try the grains!
A number of Lebanese dishes use grains such as ground wheat (burghul) and rice and these are a very healthy alternative. The breads used are generally flatbreads and oils are added rather than butter or animal fat spreads. This means that they are low in saturated fats and therefore low in cholesterol.
Tip #5 – Pick the healthier option from the menu
Some healthy dishes are obvious, such as the salads and hummus but others include falafel (spiced chickpea cakes) and stuffed grape leaves. If you are a desert lover then try the kaak b'halib (sweet cakes) or mhallabiyeh (sweet cream rice).
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