Q:

Is Chinese food healthy?

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Quick Answer

While not all Chinese dishes can be considered healthy, there are some low-calorie, low-fat dishes to be found on most Chinese menus. In general, dishes that are breaded, fried or topped with thick sauces are full of calories and fat. Steamed, lightly stir-fried, poached and roasted dishes tend to be healthier. Low-calorie dishes to try include moo goo gai pan and wonton soup.

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Full Answer

Moo goo gai pan, a dish that's made mostly with vegetables, contains approximately 661 calories and 34 grams of fat per serving. Wonton soup, another healthier choice, contains only about 107 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving. On the other end of the spectrum are dishes like beef with broccoli, which contains about 1,118 calories and 65 grams of fat per serving, and Kung Pao chicken, which contains about 1,227 calories and 46 grams of fat per serving.

The American Heart Association recommends that those trying to make healthier choices at Chinese restaurants choose dishes with lots of vegetables, choose chicken rather than duck, and ask the cook to use less oil and soy sauce when preparing their meals. Asking the cook to use only half of the sauce and skipping the fried rice, which can contain up to 450 calories per serving, are other ways to make a Chinese meal healthier.

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