When you walk into a Chinese restaurant you may think that you have made a healthy choice. Of course, you might be aware that Chinese food is very high in sodium, and you may be wise enough to opt not to add extra soy sauce to whatever it is that you choose to eat. Or maybe you throw caution to the wind and add soy sauce, thinking that all of those vegetables that you see cancel out the high sodium. Soy sauce, or no soy sauce, are you certain that the food that you are choosing when eating Chinese food is all that healthy?
In many cases, some of the top favorites at Chinese restaurants are also the worst for you from a health standpoint, and that goes beyond the blood pressure raising sodium. Many Chinese food favorites are very high in fat, calories, and carbohydrates. Here is a look at the worst offenders when it comes to Chinese food.
1 Fried Rice.- Everyone loves fried rice. Whether you eat it with nothing else, or eat it along with your entrée choices, you are eating a lot more than you think. One dish of fried rice is roughly three quarters of a days calorie needs. So, you share it, right? Know that fried rice is rice and a fair amount of oil with just a few veggies, and maybe a little meat. The meat and vegetables in fried rice add up to little, but the rice and oil add up to a lot, especially if it is a side dish. Lo Mein is no better. Instead, choose plain, white rice to eat with your other Chinese food goodies.
2. Orange Beef– Or orange chicken, or sweet and sour pork. All of these dishes consist of batter dipped, fried meat, in a sweet sauce with a few vegetables to add color. This means a lot of fat, cholesterol, calories, and carbohydrates. There is nothing healthy about any of that. Choose a dish where the meat is not battered and fried, or choose a vegetarian option.
3. Barbecued Spareribs- Barbecued spareribs are a very popular Chinese food appetizer. A serving of barbecued spareribs is akin to eating two pork chops as an appetizer. Barbecued spareribs contain a great deal of saturated fat–about two-thirds of your daily allotment, and you are having those as a starter! Steamed dumplings make a more healthful choice all around.
3. Lemon Chicken- Lemon chicken is a giant plate of breaded and fried meat with no vegetables, and no redeeming value aside from taste. It is estimated that one dish of lemon chicken contains 1400calories, which makes other, notorious, fast food choices look like light weights.
General Tso’s Chicken- Another very popular Chinese food choice that many think is healthy, as it is not red meat. However, it is breaded, deep fried, and swimming in a calorie laden sauce, making it a dangerous choice that is chock full of calories, saturated fat and not a whole lot else. Again, choose a dish that has meat that is not deep fried!
Perhaps you now feel that all of the fun has been taken out of your favorite Chinese foods. Perhaps it has been, but you can make new favorite Chinese food choices. Sample some dishes containing tofu instead of deep fried meat, and order entrees with sautéed meat and a lot of vegetables. And while you are making all of those other healthy changes, put down that little bottle of soy sauce. You will find that you really do not need it at all.
Unhealthy Chinese-Food Choices