It’s Friday night – the TV’s on, your feet are up… and the fridge is empty. We’re all prone to picking up a takeaway leaflet and ordering our favourite Indian dish now and again. Takeaway consumption is on the rise, and it’s predicted that Britain will spend nearly £8bn a year on takeaways by the end of the decade. But have we considered the serious impact they may be having on our bodies? We spoke with Chloe Miles, a British Dietetic Association spokesperson, and Kurtis Lynch, a senior trainer at Matt Roberts, to find out more about the short and long term health effects of eating a Chicken Korma takeaway.
Short term health effects
With 81g of fat, Miles reveals that “high fat foods are not thought to fill us up as much as protein containing foods.” So although you’ll feel satisfied right after you’ve eaten your Chicken Korma, you may be left craving more afterwards.
Serum triglycerides (fat in the blood) “are likely to be significantly raised after a high fat meal like this,” explains Miles. “It usually takes a couple of hours for these to be removed from the blood and used by the body.” If you’re keeping active then it’ll be used for energy, however Aviva’s latest Health Check Report revealed that almost one in five people in the UK never exercise. If this is the case, by eating this type of food, it’ll be stored as fat and can go straight to your belly or hips.
This meal only contains 3% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C (which should be between 65-90mg). We need Vitamin C to help protect and grow our tissues, and to support healing processes. The report exposed that 22% of the population are eating less than one portion of fruit or veg a day. Therefore, if you are opting for a takeaway, why not try “bulking it up with vegetables, which will help to increase the Vitamin C content of the meal.”
Miles tells us that Vitamin C also “plays a role in the immune system.” A weakened immune system decreases your body’s ability to fight infections or diseases. It can also cause fatigue and may reduce activity levels following the meal – so you’ll feel more tired and less inclined to be active or do any exercise.
Long term health effects
This meal contains a staggering 27g of saturated fat. This is extremely high, as Miles advises that “women should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day and men should eat no more than 30g.” As a result, regularly eating this meal could increase the level of cholesterol in your blood. Fatty deposits called plaques form on your artery walls, increasing the risk of having clogged arteries. Our report outlined that 21% of commonly prescribed medicines in the UK are to manage cholesterol, so eating too many takeaways could be a contributing factor to the UK’s problem.
Miles reveals that “we should be having no more than 6g of salt a day.” Therefore by regularly consuming takeaways like Chicken Korma, and “consistently eating too much salt may increase the risk of developing high blood pressure.” This can put stress on your heart by making it work harder. Miles adds that “if your triglyceride levels are high long-term” (a blood test which measures the amount of fat in your blood), “this may indicate that you are at higher risk of heart disease.”
Containing over 1,300 calories, this dish is 50-70% of your recommended daily allowance and is also energy dense and high in fat, which will lead to weight gain if eaten over a longer period. Our report revealed that only 43% of the population are a healthy weight, and so regularly eating takeaways like Chicken Kormas could also be contributing to the issue of obesity in the UK.
Being overweight can cause a whole host of serious health problems. Miles explains that it “can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer,” with a study previously estimating “that just over 1 in 10 pancreatic cancers in 2010 were due to being overweight.” Being obese may also “contribute towards the development of fatty liver disease,” says Lynch. This is a condition caused by a buildup of fat in your liver. In the long term this could lead to inflammation, scarring, or even advance to more serious liver conditions.
A Chicken Korma contains around 3g of salt – half of our total recommended daily allowance. Lynch warns that a high amount of salt could lead to stomach cancer in the longer run, and explains that “excess sodium can also lead to kidney disease.” This is because a high salt diet can cause the kidney’s to have reduced function. If they’re not able to get rid of the excess fluid, blood pressure can increase which will put a strain on your kidneys.
Swap your order
If you have a generally healthy diet and keep active then fear not – the odd Chicken Korma takeaway is unlikely to cause any serious damage. But it is important to remember the longer term impact that this type of meal can have on your body.
If you do fancy an Indian takeaway, why not follow these tips from Miles, so you can enjoy a tasty but more guilt-free treat:
- “Avoid the creamy curries and opt for tomato based dishes. Good options include tandoori or madras with chicken, prawns of vegetables.”
- “If you’re having side dishes such as rice, opt for plain boiled or a chapatti instead of fried rice and a naan bread,” as these are lower fat choices.
- “Vegetable side dishes such as dahl are great to increase your vegetable intake and contribute to your recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day,” as dahl is lentil based – so highly nutritious and low in calories.
Understanding your ideal daily calorie intake
The number of calories we need to consume each day varies from person to person. Use our simple calculator to work out your daily calorie requirements.
Your body after a Deep Pan Pizza Takeaway
The next article in our takeaway series covers the negative health implications eating Deep Pan Pepperoni Pizza can have on your body. Read on to find out more.