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3 On Your Side: Online Food Order Apps

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cooking during the hot summer months isn’t always fun, and online food delivery sites and apps make ordering out easier than ever. But those online orders can add up, and so can the calories. So 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice to cut things down.

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 four and a half years. Those online orders came with higher costs and more calories.

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.

Mike Evans, GrubHub Co-Founder says, “We’ve had a lot of people really ask for these low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, gluten-free, or things like that, because they want more healthy options.

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.

Evans says, “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. ” Which cuts calories and turns one meal into two, or possibly three, adding more bang and less bulk for the buck.

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