Lean Chinese Cuisine
Characterized by its rich, aromatic flavor and diversified color, Chinese cuisine is one of the tastiest and most enjoyable food options out there, but it can also be unhealthy. Find ways to enjoy it through these healthier alternatives.
Cravings for Chinese cuisine are a real thing. It is usually one of the top food choices that come to mind, especially for takeout.
Chinese food may not always be the healthiest choice, as most dishes contain high levels of salt, oil, sugar, and processed additives. Nonetheless, it does not mean that you should already write off this popular Asian cuisine.
Many Chinese food dishes can be high in sodium which could be a concern for your heart health. On the other hand, eating in moderation and choosing healthier options can allow you to enjoy this traditionally delectable cuisine. Here are several ways how:
Load up on the Soup
Start your meal with a low-calorie soup such as Wonton Soup or Egg Drop Soup instead of other higher-calorie appetizers. While it can be tempting to sneak in a fried dumpling or two, starting off your meal with a broth greatly helps you avoid overeating and keeps your food portions in check. If you are selecting an entree, go for the ones that are steamed, baked, boiled, or sautéed in a small amount of oil.
Watch Your Salt
Chinese food can be infamous in the nutritional world for its high sodium content. This can leave you bloated, dehydrated, and far from feeling healthy.
Nonetheless, salt is an essential mineral and vital for bodily functions. According to dietary guidelines, we should be consuming less than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day. An amount of more than that could cause medical problems for our heart, skin, body weight, and blood pressure.
It is alarming that some Chinese dishes have exceeded this recommended amount even within just one serving. Try to make it a habit to ask for less salt in your food when you order at a restaurant, or ask for no salt at all, and just sprinkle it on your food.
Watch Your Sugar Too
Basic Chinese cuisine is quite healthy with the number of vegetables that are incorporated into it. However, with the added fried rice, egg rolls, breaded fried chicken, and sticky sugar-laden sauces, it can become very unhealthy, especially when eaten in large portions. To combat this, be mindful of how full you are feeling when you are eating, and as much as possible, opt for lighter, less sugary food choices.
Easy on the Sauce
Far too often, what makes Chinese food unhealthier than it should be are the heavy sauces used. They can be loaded with excess sugar, lots of salt, and ultimately, extra calories. Lighter sauces such as hoisin sauce and hot mustard can be the better alternatives. You can also ask for extra vegetables in your ordered dishes to go easy on the sauce.
Reduce the Oil
Instead of ordering dishes that are “fried” or “crispy”, look for items that are steamed. Loading up on steamed dumplings, steamed rice, and steamed vegetables is the healthier alternative. If you are looking for that extra crunch on your dish, request for chopped peanuts on top or other crunchy alternatives.
Above all, eating Chinese food in moderation and choosing the right type of food preparation will enable you to enjoy your meals without guilt and worry.