Chinese Restaurant Takeout: Good Fortune or Not?

Who can resist good Chinese food? The noodles, the sauce, the sweet and the heat?all packed into those cute little boxes. Plus, a free little dessert that tells your fortune! Unfortunately, these tasty meals tend to be sodium-heavy. In fact, you could easily rack up more than a day’s worth of sodium in one meal. But with a little educated ordering, you can include a good Chinese meal every now and then in a healthy diet. Keep in mind, while the nutrition information given here is for popular chain restaurants, many Chinese restaurants are Mom & Pop places that don’t use standardized recipes or provide nutritional information. The numbers below may be similar to your favorite family-run restaurant, but not necessarily.

Helpful Hints

Navigating through a Chinese restaurant menu can be a bit like, well, reading Chinese. But with a few pointers, you can sail right through to a delicious meal without sacrificing health.

  • Try plain white rice instead of fried rice. Better yet, order whole grain brown if they offer it. Blank canvas rice goes well with any type of entr?e, and an average serving contains about 300 calories with little fat or sodium, compared to much fattier and saltier fried rice.

  • Sauce Warning! The sodium and fat content in some sauces is shocking. Choose your sauce wisely, and if you just can’t live without one that is dripping with fat and sodium, use it sparingly.

  • Save half for later. Most Chinese restaurants offer notoriously large portions. No need to eat it all in one sitting?eat half now and save half for tomorrow. Just like that you?ve cut your calorie, fat and sodium intake in half!

? Heidi McIndoo, M.S., R.D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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