These delivery staples may seem similar, but the pad thai is less economical in the diet department: It’s tossed with a sugar-loaded sauce—which helps explain why a container can pack up to 1,160 calories—and not many vegetables.
“The bulk of the dish is noodles,” says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. “The egg and peanuts that are often added provide some nutrition but not enough to offset the calorie count.”
Consider ordering lo mein from the Chinese menu instead. The noodles are coated in a lower-calorie sauce and usually stir-fried with more veggies in less oil, so “you could save up to 450 calories and 12 grams of fat,” Middleberg says.
Either way, know this: Most takeout containers hold 3 cups of food! Says Middleberg, “The rule for Asian takeout should be one entrée for two people.”