January 20, 2019
Healthy Chinese food options takeout out
Part 1Choosing Healthier Chinese Takeout
- Check out multiple restaurant menus. If there are multiple Chinese restaurants around your area, take a look at each one of their menus. Although many items on the menu will be similar or even identical, you might find more healthy options at certain places.
- Some restaurants may offer a wider selection of certain foods. Look for menus that have more steamed dishes, more vegetable dishes or are able to make changes or substitutions.
- Also check for a "healthy" or "diet-friendly" section of the menu. Many restaurants now are catering to the large population of people looking to lose weight. They may offer things under a certain calorie limit or that are cooked a bit healthier.
- Start with soup. Most Chinese restaurants offer a few different types of soup on their menu. Starting with a soup can help curb your appetite and total calorie intake.
- Studies have shown that if you start a meal by consuming a low calorie soup, you end up eating less quantity and fewer calories overall.
- Try order a small or cup of wonton soup. This generally is about 100 calories and contains a dumpling or two, possibly some vegetables and broth.
- Although the soup may be low in calorie, it's most likely still higher in sodium. Ask for a low-sodium option if available and plan on sticking to the small serving.
- Go for steamed over fried. No matter what entree or side dish you're in the mood for, try to go for the steamed option over fried. This automatically cuts calories and fat.
- If your order comes with the option of fried rice or steamed rice, always go for steamed. Fried rice has over 100 more calories per serving than steamed rice.
- Also go for steamed or stir-fried proteins. Things like General Tso's chicken are deep fried and higher in calories. Opt for a lower calorie option like chicken and broccoli.
- For appetizers, skip the egg roll and fried dumplings and order spring rolls or steamed dumplings instead. Two steamed dumplings are only around 50 calories.
- Always order a vegetable. Adding an extra vegetables to any dish - takeout or homemade - can help decrease the overall calorie content of the meal and help you stick to a healthier, more nutritious meal.
- Adding extra vegetables to your Chinese takeout meal will help provide bulk to your meal. That means you'll be eating the same quantity of foods, but filling up more on vegetables.
- Since vegetables are low in calorie and high in fiber, you'll get full and feel satisfied on fewer calories.
- With any Chinese takeout dish, ask for extra vegetables. If it comes with peppers and onions, ask for a double amount. Or if you're ordering chicken and broccoli, ask for extra broccoli.
- You can also ask for an order of plain steamed vegetables or a side order of steamed vegetables. Eat these in addition to your meal or toss them with your entree of choice.
- Order brown rice. Another option to try is ordering brown rice. Again, many restaurants are catering to healthy eaters and may offer this nutritious side.
- Brown rice is considered a 100% whole grain. It's less processed compared to white rice and is higher fiber, protein and other essential nutrients.
- Although brown rice is a more nutritious or nutrient dense choice, it will have the same or very similar amount of calories to steamed white rice. The benefit here is the added nutrition.
- Make changes to the cooking methods. There are a variety of different meals and types of foods that you can order to make Chinese takeout more healthy. However, don't forget about how it's cooked and served.
- Ask for sauce on the side. Many times, Chinese food is slathered and drowning in some sort of sauce. Although usually very tasty, the excess amount of sauce can add up to a lot of extra calories. Ask for the sauce to be served on the side and monitor how much you add.
- Also ask if your foods can be prepared with less oil or butter. This can help cut down on fat and calories as well.
- Lastly, ask about reducing the amount of soy sauce, MSG or salt that's added to your foods during cooking. Although these ingredients don't come with a calorie content, they can help cut down on the overall sodium content of your meal.
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