The Unhealthiest Chinese Food Dishes

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When it comes to Chinese food, it’s essential to be mindful of what you eat. Many dishes feature deep frying with oil-laden sauces that contain high amounts of fat, salt, and sugar – this could add up quickly when consumed regularly.

Popular dishes, like orange beef and fried rice, contain high levels of calories, sodium and fat. Instead, select steamed options with reduced levels of both.

1. General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s chicken, a popular Chinese-American dish, features battered and deep-fried chicken pieces coated in a sweet-and-spicy sauce high in sugar and additives. While occasional indulgence might not cause health concerns for some individuals, consistently including this treat in one’s diet may negatively impact long-term wellness and lead to chronic diseases.

Sodium: It is vitally important to consider the sodium content in any sauce as this can increase blood pressure and contribute to cardiovascular disease over time. An average serving of General Tso’s chicken contains close to an entire day’s worth of sodium!

High Sugar Content: Another area of concern regarding this dish is its high sugar content; each serving may contain up to 4 grams of this sweetener, making it unhealthy for those living with diabetes or those on heart-healthy diets, leading to weight gain and raising blood sugar levels significantly.

Saturated Fat:

Consuming this dish may contribute to elevated cholesterol and heart disease over time. A single serving of General Tso’s chicken typically contains up to 3-4 grams of saturated fat – equivalent to approximately 1/4-1/3 of your daily recommended maximum intake.

One way to reduce saturated fat intake when dining on restaurant classics such as chicken is to choose grilled instead of fried and choose recipes calling for chicken thighs – these have lower saturated fat and provide more meaty flavor!

Homemade Versions: Making General Tso’s chicken at home can be an excellent way to reduce sodium, sugar, and fat intake while simultaneously increasing fiber and slower release energy than white rice. In addition, many homemade versions include natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead of high fructose corn syrup; plus there may be no sodium benzoate additives! Adding leafy greens or other vegetables as an addition can further enhance its nutritional quality.

2. Egg Rolls

Egg rolls are a delicious Chinese restaurant snack or appetizer dish often enjoyed as part of their snack or appetizer menus, comprising of savory vegetables encased in dough. Egg rolls can be baked, deep fried or steamed depending on preference; while they do contain vitamin and mineral-rich vegetables they also contain high amounts of sodium due to being deep-fried or baked in oil, and often served with sweet-and-sour, hoisin or plum sauce dips which contain additional sodium content.

Although egg rolls do not contain eggs, their name could come from their original recipe calling for their inclusion in dough used to form wrappers; many modern recipes do away with this requirement altogether.

Make it at home to avoid extra fat and sodium found in restaurant-style versions, and control what ingredients go into them; making your own can also give you the freedom to forgoing high-sodium hoisin sauces or sweet and sour sauces, commonly served alongside them.

Make your own healthier egg rolls with ground pork, shredded cabbage and carrots (you could even use prepackaged slaw mix if time is an issue), vermicelli rice noodles and vermicelli pasta sheets. Preheat a heavy skillet or pan to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before carefully adding egg rolls one by one until golden brown on all sides, about five minutes per side. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels until ready to serve!

Air frying egg rolls is another less-fried and healthier alternative, provided that they are generously coated in neutral-tasting oil prior to baking. While results will not be quite as crunchy, but will still taste delicious and be good for you.

Homemade egg rolls offer more than nutrition; they are also fun for kids to help make. Plus, homemade versions tend to be much less costly than buying them at restaurants when considering hidden costs such as extra salt, fat and calories!

3. Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of the many delicious Chinese cuisine dishes you may feel compelled to share, but this would be a major mistake! Sharing can lead to overeating and sneakily taking spoonfuls out of someone else’s bowl can introduce bacteria that cause food poisoning – a danger particularly true with foods left sitting out at room temperature for long enough that have come into contact with each other, such as fried foods that sit out overnight. Bacillus cereus (which causes “fried rice syndrome”) spores can survive even microwave heating so its best just to stay away from this dish altogether!

Steamed brown rice combined with chicken or vegetables (beef and broccoli are good choices) is an excellent way to stay on track with healthy eating habits and help manage weight effectively. Not only does it contain fiber that will keep you feeling satiated for hours on end while managing weight effectively, but protein provides essential support for muscle health as well.

Registered dietitians recommend ordering Chinese cuisine either steamed or stir-fried and without oil to minimize calories and fat intake. Look for methods like stir-frying or broiling which use less deep-frying; alternatively if ordering deep fried food go for vegetable versions instead or switch from white rice to quinoa as both contain twice the protein!

If ordering a stir-fry entree, opt for one that features vegetables and lean proteins like shrimp or chicken. Furthermore, ask to switch out some or all of the rice with extra vegetables instead – another great option would be lettuce cups; they provide additional filling but low-caloric veggies to your meal!

Another steamed entree to consider is fish. This light dish can be enhanced with ginger and scallions to aid with digestion, or you could try Kung pao chicken which combines spicy chili sauce with protein-rich chicken and crunchy peanuts; an ideal dish when seeking something savory yet less sweet than General Tso’s or egg rolls! Don’t forget a glass of water or unsweetened green tea as they too can aid with digestive health!

4. Lo Mein

Lo mein is a popular Chinese dish composed of noodles with vegetables and proteins such as chicken, beef, pork or tofu. Typically prepared using oil for this dry variation of noodle soup, this dry variant can also be steamed or stir fried to ensure optimal nutrition (via HelloFresh). While its noodles provide carbohydrates and proteins for health-minded eaters alike (via HelloFresh).

Chow Mein and Lo Mein differ primarily because chow mein is typically made with egg noodles. Egg noodles have become a mainstay in many types of global cuisine and typically consist of flour, water and eggs for maximum filling potential. Furthermore, Chow Mein typically includes deep frying which increases both its caloric intake and fat content.

Steamed dishes tend to be healthier than their fried counterparts; however, lo mein dishes are notoriously high in sodium due to the use of soy sauce containing an average of 1,000 mg per tablespoon (according to WH Foods).

Although homemade lo mein can make for a delicious and nutritive meal, ordering it at a restaurant should be avoided if possible. When making it at home make sure the noodles are fully cooked before adding too much salt in your sauce.

Add carrots, snow peas, bell peppers and broccoli to your noodles to ensure you’re receiving an array of nutrients in each bite. Feel free to customize it further with protein sources like chicken, shrimp or tofu; and for maximum flavor and nutritional benefits use high-grade sesame oil when making it yourself!

Bypass takeout and create this quick lo mein recipe at home in 15 minutes using whatever veggies, noodles, and protein are in your refrigerator! It’s an ideal Chinese-inspired dinner option when craving takeout but needing something healthier on budget; plus it helps clean out the fridge by using up any lingering vegetables or leftover proteins!