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Chinese Food Calories
For the past few years, the diet industry has come down heavily on the calories in Chinese food. With the popularity of Chinese food restaurants and take-outs, the issue of Chinese food and the calories it consists has come to the forefront. Chinese food may seem high in calories due to the oil, sauces, and salt it contains. Wok fried Chinese food maybe greasy and contribute to the calories. However, it is essential to clarify that the Chinese food calories that medical journals warn us about are of the take-out variety.
Overall, it is possible to enjoy Chinese food without the fear of adding calories with a few smart tips. Arm yourself with all the information regarding Chinese food, by using a calorie counter. A calorie counter will help with Chinese food calories and a list of dishes that you can avoid or enjoy. Pick your favorite Chinese dish and find out how many calories in Chinese foods such as orange chicken, Kung Pao potatoes, sweet and sour pork dishes, and so on. An online Chinese food calorie counter can breakdown even essential ingredients such as how much oil is used in stir fry noodles, amount of salt used in certain dishes, and so on. You may prefer to satisfy your hunger for Chinese food with store bought frozen entrees. While certain brands are now concentrating their efforts on lean cuisine, many store bought products may contain added ingredients, which contribute to calories in Chinese food. Read the labels carefully and as far as possible avoid processed food that is high in sodium. Opt for low fat, low sodium varieties, and go easy on the sauces.
Much of the calories in Chinese food come from the white rice used in dishes such as Chinese fried rice. You may substitute white rice for its healthier version, brown rice. If you are making the fried rice at home, it is easier to control the amount of oil used for sautéing the meat and vegetables. You can also curb the Chinese food calories by using plenty of veggies and lean portions of meat. The healthier option is to order Chinese dishes with a side order of steamed rice. You can enjoy the Chinese flavor and control the amount of rice you eat. Deep-fried or batter fried shrimp and meat add to Chinese food calories and fat. There is no escaping the Chinese food calories if you have a taste for the crunchy, fried appetizers. However, most restaurants will oblige an order of lightly stir-fried or braised chicken, beef, or tofu. In fact, the deep-fried or breaded tofu found in most restaurants is not even authentic Chinese. Stick with ‘steamed is better than fried’ as your mantra, and Chinese food should not weigh too heavy on your waistline.
Duck sauce, hoisin sauce, mustard, and soya sauce are high in sodium content. If possible, order the sauce on the side so you can control or skip the sauce. Cooking Chinese at home? Use salt sparingly in the dish, since the sodium content in the sauces should suffice. Most Chinese restaurants also add monosodium glutamate MSG to flavor the dishes. Some individuals are allergic or intolerant to this ingredient and may suffer from symptoms such as headache, sweating, nausea, numbness, and irregular heartbeat.
You can also avoid Chinese food calories by opting for smaller portions of rice and noodles and substituting them with more vegetables like broccoli, peas, mushrooms, and so on. When in doubt, stick with soup. Chinese cuisine offers flavorful soups that can double up as a wholesome meal. Broths with rice and meat, wonton soups, and noodle soups are all healthy ways of getting your Chinese kick without added calories from fried veggies and rice. Do not feel pressured to eat a whole meal at one go. Chinese cuisine works great as leftover food. If ordering small portions is not an option, share a plate with a friend. Since any tofu, chicken, pork, beef dishes contain a whole day’s worth of proteins, it is perfectly fine to eat half and bag the rest of it for dinner.
All of the above mentioned tips should not dissuade you from trying some authentic Chinese cuisine. Asian foods are high in proteins from meats, carbohydrates from rice and noodles, and both saturated and non saturated fats. Here are some Chinese food nutrition facts that make this cuisine irresistible.
• Gluten intolerant individuals can enjoy Chinese foods with its emphasis on rice and rice noodles.
• Chinese cuisine also incorporates vegetables into main food instead of using it as a side dish or garnish. Thus, Chinese foods provide you with essential vitamins and minerals as well as plenty of dietary fiber. On a weight loss diet, Chinese foods such as soups and stew can fill you up while providing you with essential nutrients for your body. Vegetables such as bean sprouts, Bok Choy, celery, cabbage, scallions, spinach, broccoli, water chestnuts, eggplant, and mushrooms add variety to the Chinese cuisine.
• For vegans, Chinese cuisine with its emphasis on soy and soy-based products such as tofu and soy sauce can provide them with a substantial percentage of their protein intake.
• Chinese cuisine focuses on plant proteins, seafood, lean meats, and few red meats. This makes Chinese food heart healthy.
• The generous use of condiments such as ginger, garlic, green onions, and so on aid digestion. The liberal use of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and so on provides antioxidants to the food.
• While we are talking about antioxidants, one of the best sources is Chinese green tea. Traditional Chinese diet includes sipping the hot brew throughout the meal. On going research on green tea reveals benefits in fighting cancer, promoting weight loss, soothing stress, improving heart health, and treating inflammation.
• Chinese food is prepared using poly-saturated fats such as sesame oil, peanut oil, and so on instead of butter, margarine or cream.
• The Chinese wok is essential equipment in stir-frying meats and vegetables. Once the wok is evenly heated, vegetables and meats cook quickly with very little oil. Chinese cuisine uses a quick stir-fry as a cooking process to seal the micronutrients in the vegetables. Cooking your vegetables for a long time will result in the loss of vitamins and minerals from your food. The oversized lid on the Chinese wok is great for steaming vegetables or dumplings as well.
Chinese food calories may seem less daunting once you know how to avoid fried or salty dishes. Prepared correctly, Chinese food is flavorful and healthy. Besides, with a fortune cookie at the end of the meal, you may just find your future on a platter.
|Submitted on January 16, 2014|