Eating healthy is easier than you think writes Katie Clift of Cancer Council Queensland.

Have you ever fallen in a heap after a long week, abandoning your diet to dial-a-pizza?

We’ve all been there.

Research has found about 30 per cent of Queenslanders opt for unhealthy takeaway at least once a week, sacrificing health and happiness for the momentary convenience of foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

Equally alarming, about 12 per cent of us drink sugar-sweetened drinks every day, quenching our thirst with sugary sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit juices and soft drinks.

But there are alternatives – it can be quicker and easier than you think to plate up a healthy meal and fulfil your pizza, fajita, burger or curry craving.

Why not get the family involved in topping a homemade pizza? Go for wholemeal pita bread as a base, add plenty of veggies, chicken and herbs – five minutes of prep and a few minutes in the oven, and you’re done.

Serve up some homemade Mexican with corn tortillas and a healthy tomato, coriander and chilli salsa, or chicken burger patties on wholemeal rolls. You could opt for a red beef curry sautéed with reduced-fat coconut milk for a delicious, nutritious meal option too.

Opting for healthy, homemade meals reduces our consumption of unhealthy saturated fat, salt and sugar – sometimes on significant scales. Eating an unhealthy diet can lead to overweight or obesity, which increases the risk of a range of chronic diseases – including some cancers.

If it’s absolutely necessary that you tuck into some takeaway on occasion – here’s a few menu choices that will leave you satisfied, without any added guilt:

Thai food – go for steamed fish, a fresh salad, veggie-rich stir-fries and opt for brown rice instead of white.

Italian food – avoid creamy pasta sauces, lots of bacon and cheese. Choose tomato-based dishes with plenty of vegetables.

Chinese food – steamed vegetables, soups and stir fries – avoid anything deep-fried!

Fish and chips – choose grilled or steamed fish and salad – hold the extra potato.

Get inspired, trade in the unhealthy takeaway and freshen up your weekly menu with the season’s best produce. You’ll feel – and look better for it!

A whole range of recipes is available at healthier.qld.gov.au, with some taking as little as 20 minutes to whip up. Quicker and healthier than a home delivery!