Having tasted different types of food, I will say Chinese food is still one of my favorites. In fact, it is also American’s number one option when it comes to eating out. Poultry, seafood, lots of vegetables and without cheese..looks healthy, but not really if you are not careful.
In a typical day, a healthy adult needs about:
- 2000 – 3000 calories diet
- 20 grams of saturated fat
- 1500 – 2300 milligrams of sodium (salt)
Now, here are some of the nutrition facts of Chinese food served in restaurants:
- 6 steamed pork dumplings – 500 calories, 6 g of saturated fat and 900 mg of sodium
- 1 plate of Kung Pao chicken – 1,400 calories, 13 g of saturated fat and 1,800 mg of sodium. The calories are high because of the nuts. Fortunately, the chicken is stired fried and not deep fried.
- 1 plate of Black Bean Sauce Chicken – 700 calories, 5 g of saturated fat and 3800 mg of sodium. The chicken is stired fried. But, the bean sauce is salty.
- 1 plate of Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables – 500 calories, 2 g of saturated fat and 2200 mg of sodium.
- 1 plate of Ma Po Tofu – 600 calories, 4 g of saturated fat and 2300 mg of sodium. If pork is added in addition to the typical soft tofu (bean curd) and spring onion, the calories will be more.
- 1 plate of Sweet and Sour Pork – 1300 calories, 13 g of saturated fat and 800 mg sodium. Less salt, but more sugar in this dish.
- 1 plate of Sze Chuan Shrimp – 700 calories, 2 g of saturated fat, 2500 mg of sodium.
- 1 plate of Chicken Chow Fun – 1200 calories, 7 g saturated fat, 3400 mg sodium
- 1 plate of Fried Rice – 1,500 calories, 10 g saturated fat, 2700 mg sodium. Yes, fried rice is actually a fried version of salted fried rice, lots of oil and meat sprinkled with vegetables and shrimp.
- 1 plate of Lo Mein – 1,100 calories, 7 g saturated fat, 3500 mg sodium.
- 1 plate of Chow Mein – 1,200 calories, 9 g saturated fat, 3600 mg sodium. Egg noodles are stired fried with beef, prk, chicken, shrimp and some vegetables.
From the list:
- You have probably noticed that fried rice actually provide you about three quarters a day’s need of calories.
- Chinese restaurant food can be very salty and it gives high calories because of high amount of oil used.
The above dishes are served in restaurant or the typical Chinese takeaway order (tapao). Home cooked Chinese food is healthier with less oil and sodium.
However, for those who eat out in Chinese restaurant, here are some tips:
- Instead of deep friend, choose stirred fried Chinese food.
- Chinese invent chopsticks for a good reason.If you use spoon, you may scoop up too much sauce on the plate and end up with your rice. I feel guilty of doing soaking my rice with sauce.
- I have seen friends adding more salt into their Chinese food. Do not add more salt. Most Chinese food is already salty enough.
- Order vegetables. Do not just eat meat and rice. Ask for broccolis, spinach, peas and other veggies. Chinese always have creative ways in cooking these veges. If you are really health conscious, go for steamed version.
- Do not just eat rice. One bowl of white rice gives you about 200 calories whereas brown rice is slightly less. So, instead of adding another bowl of rice (which is very common among Chinese men), eat more veggies. Check out my the other article on “Is Rice Fattening?“
Chinese food is not necessary unhealthy. It depends how are they being prepared. In fact, in developed countries like Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, people get fat from eating fast food like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King, and so much from their local noodles and fried rice.
If you like this or other articles in this blog, Subscribe to MunFitnessBlog.com today. It is free.
Scroll down to leave a comment. I really want to know what you think.