Consumer Watch: Using the internet to eat healthier

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 7 at 5:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Cooking during the hot summer months is not always fun. Online food delivery sites and apps make ordering out easier than ever. But those online orders can add up, and so can the calories.

The concept of ordering food online or using a smartphone app has made dinner easy, but it can also make it more costly and less healthy. 

A recent study from the University of Rochester evaluated 160,000 online orders to a North Carolina pizza chain over the course of 4 and a half years. Online orders came were higher priced and contained more calories.

Now the same online tools to load more toppings on a pizza can easily be used to customize a healthier meal. Sites like Grubhub, for example, have recently added more options. “We've had a lot of people really ask for these low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, gluten-free, of things like that, because they want more healthy options,” said Grubhub Co-Founder Mike Evans.

Ordering online means requests to take off sauces, substitute healthier sides are less likely to get lost in the shuffle, so take advantage of that. And for big portions, put half to the side as soon as it arrives.

“One of the nice things about delivery food is it comes in its own container so you can put half that portion in the fridge and eat it as a leftover,” said Evans.

Saving food cuts calories and turns one meal into two, or possibly three, adding more bang and less bulk for the buck.

 

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