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Healthy Chinese Food Options

Rutuja Jathar Mar 2, 2020
Are you searching for some healthy Chinese food options? Well, you can rely on the following information for some good tips.
America is sometimes referred to as a fast food nation, which is not an exaggeration at all! Astonishingly, one out of every four Americans eats fast food on a daily basis, and most of the fast food dishes that we tend to consume are Chinese! The food that we generally find at the Chinese restaurants looks tempting and it tastes delicious as well.
It is commonly believed that the Chinese recipes are unhealthy and must be avoided if one is aiming for weight loss. In our opinion, it's not fair as far as the Chinese delicacies are concerned.
When thinking about Chinese food, we tend to imagine only about the deep-fried dishes, heavy meat chucks, and calorie-loaded, sauce-covered noodles! Right?
Well, authentic Chinese food can give a huge blow to this imagination. Actually, there are quite a few healthy Chinese dishes that we clearly neglect. As a matter of fact, you can always order many healthier recipes, without worrying about your health!

Healthy Chinese Food

The authentic Chinese food, which we were referring to previously, is actually one of the healthiest foods you can have. This cuisine is good for you, if you know what to order! It employs a lot of vegetables and various types of rice, hence, you must always try to capitalize on this point.
Secondly, Chinese food comes in larger serving sizes, hence, you must order smaller meals and ask for extra vegetables (without hesitation)! Well, here are some tips for you to make healthy Chinese food choices.

Lean Meat

However outlandish it may sound, but avoid meats and replace them with vegetarian recipes for healthy Chinese food.
Most of us believe that the Chinese food is all about healthy lean meats, but we conveniently forget the red meats of pork, beef, lamb, and chicken, which are extremely high in cholesterol and saturated fats. If you just cannot live without that Peking duck, then go for the smaller serving sizes and restrict it to 2 to 3 oz.!

Steamed Rice

Chinese cuisine utilizes rice in its various forms, and it is not difficult to find the healthier one of them all. Preferably, go for brown rice or steamed white rice.
Brown rice contains more than 3.5 gm healthy dietary fibers, while steamed white rice contains 1 gm of it. Fried rice, on the other hand contains 14gm of fats in an 8 oz. serving size! This means, that you'll have to stop consuming fried rice, totally!
What you can do is, go for the brown rice and in case the restaurant doesn't have it, then you can always settle on the steamed white rice!

Stir Fry + Noodles

Stir frying is one of the healthier Chinese cooking methods, which utilizes smaller amount of cooking oil. Basically, the noodles are loaded with refined carbohydrates, which you must always be watchful for.
The stir fried recipes, which emphasize on steamed noodles (instead of fried noodles) and heaps of vegetables, is a better choice, that takes care of those additional carbs. If you are wondering whether the brown colored noodles are made of brown rice, then let us let you know that those noodles are loaded with the heavy oils, which are used for cooking!

Foods to Eat

Here is a generalized list of healthy Chinese food choices for you.
  • Vegetable spring rolls
  • Steamed rice
  • Garlic shrimp
  • Mushroom chicken
  • Broccoli and beef
  • Chicken and green beans
  • Moo Goo Gai Pan
  • Mandarin chicken
  • Shrimp chow mein
  • Shrimp or chicken chop suey
  • Lettuce wraps
  • Kung Pao Chicken stir fry
  • Shrimp with lobster sauce stir fry
  • Egg drop soup
  • Wonton soup
  • Hot-and-sour soup
  • Steamed dumplings
  • Teriyaki chicken skewer
  • Shrimp platter
  • Steamed tofu with vegetables
  • Beef with Chinese mushrooms
  • Steamed whole fish
  • Chicken with walnuts
  • Sautéed spinach with garlic
Typically, Chinese food has a high sodium content and hence, it is better to avoid any other sources of sodium, like soda and salt, when you consume Chinese foods! Surprisingly, eating with chopsticks actually limits consumption of excessive oils from the foods, than forks or the spoons.

Foods NOT to Eat

Here is a generalized list which you must try to avoid.
  • General Tso's chicken
  • Battered or fried appetizers
  • Egg rolls
  • Kung Pao chicken
  • Spare ribs
  • Crispy Veg or meats
  • Hoisin or sweet and sour sauce
  • Fried rice, any kind
Go for the food recipes which have words like Chu (broiled), Jum (poached), Kow (roasted), Shu (barbecued) mentioned in them.
Foods that are lightly stir fried, dry stir fried and/or braised, can also be included as healthy Chinese food options. It may sound weird at a glance, but you must know what that dish means in Chinese! Anything apart from the previously mentioned dishes including fried, breaded, or coated must strictly be avoided.
As our last friendly advice, we would suggest you to go for the Cantonese cuisine if possible. Most healthy Chinese foodstuff which we have mentioned here actually belong to the Cantonese cuisine. It emphasizes a lot on the healthier cooking methods and also includes lots of vegetables and fresh ingredients.