Restaurants

The healthiest options at Pita Pit

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Eating out is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey. Many people worry that going to restaurants or cafes always means overindulging, however, it is possible to eat healthily when eating out.

Pita Pit is a commonly enjoyed sandwich shop, available as an ‘eat in’ or ‘takeaway’ meal option, in towns across New Zealand. Whilst some of their options are high in carbohydrates, there are plenty of healthy alternatives to enjoy when you find yourself eating there. 

But why lower carb?

Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss. Lower-carb diets are particularly effective for those who struggle with blood glucose control (e.g. people with type 2 diabetes). On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or peppers), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.

It’s also completely ok to enjoy a meal high in carbohydrates when you really want one. The important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to get back to your healthy habits afterwards.

To save you time and stress, the Registered Dietitians at Second Nature have gone through the Pita Pit menu and analysed the nutritional informationto pick out the healthier options.It’s important to note that not all of these options are strictly low-carb, but they are the best-balanced meals on offer. Vegetarian options are marked with a (v).

Lower-carb meals

If weight loss is your goal, these options will leave you satisfied and can be included as part of a lower-carb eating plan:

  • Free range Chicken Tenders (4 or 8 pack)
  • Build your own salad meal with any of the following;
    • Protein: Chick’n Caesar, Chicken Breast, Lamb, Prawns, Steak, Egg (v), Feta and Quinoa Rosti (v), Kumara and Lentil Rosti (v), Falafel (v), Chick’n Fala (v), Black Bean Pattie (v)
    • Fat: avocado, feta cheese, cheddar, sliced almonds, toasted seeds
    • Non-starchy vegetables: Any of the available vege! 
    • Complex carbs: Mexican quinoa and brown rice, hummus, roasted kumara
    • Dressing: Aioli, caesar, cucumber yoghurt, hot chilli, dijon mustard, mayo, smoked chipotle, sour cream, tomato kasundi
    • Seasonings: Cajun, Chipotle, Garlic and Herb


Higher-carb meals

These options are all balanced meals but are slightly higher in carbohydrate content (15-30g carbohydrate)

  • Any of the pre-made ‘Designed by us’ petite pita options 
  • Large Bacon, Eggs and Avo pita
  • Large Chick’n Bacon Crunch pita
  • Large Southern Spiced Prawns pita
  • Large Stone Age Steak pita
  • Large ‘The Med’ Chicken and falafel Pita
  • Make your own petite pita with any of the following;
    • Protein: Chick’n Caesar, Chicken Breast, Lamb, Prawns, Steak, Egg (v)
    • Fat: Avocado, feta cheese, cheddar, sliced almonds, toasted seeds
    • Non-starchy vegetables: Any of the available vege! 
    • Complex carbs: Hummus
    • Dressing: Aioli, caesar, cucumber yoghurt, hot chilli, dijon mustard, mayo, smoked chipotle, sour cream, tomato kasundi
    • Seasonings: Cajun, Chipotle, Garlic and Herb

Please note – when served with a pita (regardless of size), the kumara and lentil rosti, feta and quinoa rosti, falafel, Chick’n Fala and black bean pattie, roasted kumara and mexican quinoa and brown rice will result in the meal being more more than 30g carbohydrates. For this reason, we’ve left them out of the above ‘higher carb’ list. 

Drinks

Once you’ve chosen a balanced meal, it’s important to focus on your drink option.

Pita Pit offers smoothies as drink options and have a selection that are both fruit and vegetable based. However, whilst full of nutrients, these smoothies are high in added or naturally occurring sugars so we recommend avoiding if possible.

As a healthy alternative, we recommend opting for spring and/or lightly sparkling water. 

Second Nature Recipe swaps

Another great alternative to takeaways is cooking your own Second Nature ‘fakeaway’ at home! The great thing about a fakeaway is the recipe can be adapted to improve its nutritional content, and we know exactly what goes into the meal. There’s a number of recipes on our app that could resemble a meal very similar to a Pita, including: 

  • Lamb Pitta pizza
  • Curried chickpea burger
  • Spiced fish pitta pocket
  • Lamb Kofte, Muhammara and salad
  • Fattoush Salad 
  • Salad Sandwich
  • Spicy lamb patties
  • Seitan Shawarma
  • Prawn tortillas

Take home message

  • If you don’t want to indulge, there are a number of healthier, lower-carb options you can order at Pita Pit.
  • Reduced carb diets seem to be the most effective for weight loss.
  • Enjoy the higher carbohydrate pita options when you really want one, then focus on staying motivated to return to healthy habits afterwards.
  • Be mindful of drinks that contain hidden sugars.

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