Chinese food is a favorite American past-time. Whether it’s a steaming bowl of Moo goo gai pan or moo shu pork doesn’t matter. It’s the rice and meat mixed with the decadent sauces and veggies that make people go back for seconds or thirds. However, many experience negative side effects after they eat this type of food. Is Chinese food healthy for you? Well, the answer might surprise you.
What Is Chinese Food?
The cuisine that labeled as Chinese in America is not at all the same variety you will find in the native land. Chinese people don’t have a problem with obesity. Their diet is rich in vegetables and rice, but they don’t use all the sugar and preservatives that are used in this country. Additionally, many foods are fried here that are not there. So, when talking about Chinese food, you must differentiate between the authentic style and the Americanized version.
Chinese food gets a very high reputation worldwide. Rice and wheat are the Chinese’s staple food. You won’t find gluten-free food there, but they sure have plenty of vegetarian delights. The next time you sit down to a bowl of General Tso’s or sweet and sour chicken, know that you would never be able to get that in China.
The real struggle is differentiating between actual Chinese cuisine and Americanized recipes…
The food you are served in a Chinese restaurant is a Mashup of Chinese, Japanese, and Italian cuisines. The noodles that often accompany a meal comes from France. What about those delicious Crab Rangoon? Well, those little pastries are native of San Francisco. Is Chinese food healthy for you? Well, it depends on what you order.
The carrots, water chestnuts, snap peas, and other veggies found here, are also not found in American versions. In China, they use green onions, daikon, and a bitter leafy broccoli. Chinese food became popular here after World War II. Over the years, it has evolved into what you know and love today. However, there are some things that you didn’t know about the Western versions of Chinese foods that might be irritating your stomach and intestines.
Is Chinese Food Healthy?
You may wonder is Chinese food healthy? Before you sit down to your next Asian inspired meal, you must keep a few things in the back of your mind.
1. Avoid Buffets
Buffets are great in that you get a lot of food for a low price. However, they must use a lot of preservatives for that food to have a long lifespan on the buffet. MSG is the main additive for preservation in Chinese cooking. MSG causes many people to have diarrhea, and it also causes you to feel hungry again after having eaten just two hours ago. Eliminating and then getting hungry again is pretty standard when eating Chinese foods.
2. Opt For Items With Low Sugar
Yes, there is nothing better than a heaping helping of sweet and sour chicken. However, that sauce is full of sugar. Why do you think it’s sweet and sour? The sugar makes it sweet. If you are watching your waist line, then you need to cut out many of the favorite sugary items on the Chinese menu. Is Chinese food healthy? Well, not if it has a sweet sauce over the top of it. Those sweet syrupy sauces are probably canned anyway.
3. Steer Clear Of Fried Foods
There is nothing better than a pile of rice. Next time, make sure you get the plain white and season it with a bit of soy. Fried rice comes with all sorts of oils that are added during the process. Sure, the little vegetables are right for you, but when you slather them in oil, it kind of cuts down on the nutritional value.
4. Skip The Egg Roll
Egg and spring rolls are favorite sides. However, these deep fried goodies are full of calories. Some of them have pork inside too. The cabbage and carrots are good, but the crunchy, deep-fried shell is going to pack on the pounds.
5. Choose Your Meals Wisely
Is Chinese healthy for you? Well, it can be, if you know what to choose. Look for places that are run by Chinese people. Who can cook these meals better than a native? Also, make sure that you don’t go to a buffet. For a buffet to make money, they want to get as much product out there as possible. You’re more likely to overeat when you have so many varieties. Pick something that is light in sauce and healthy in calories and fat. Moo goo gai pan or broccoli and beef are healthier options.
Making Safe Choices to Ensure a Healthy Chinese Meal
Is Chinese healthy for you? Well, let’s consider some facts. An average serving size of the infamous sweet and sour chicken is about 1.5 pounds of food. It has 1,765 calories. If that isn’t shocking enough, it has 89.3 grams of fat. The fat is more than 137 percent of your daily goal. However, one cup of egg drop soup has 66 calories and only 3 grams of fat. So, you can eat Chinese foods, but you must be selective in your choice.
Is Chinese food healthy? Anyone who has insight on this can leave their comments below. Making healthy choices is not always easy, but armed with knowledge on the subject, it makes it easier.