Americans certainly love their Chinese food. However, many don’t love the number of calories that can quickly add up and cause the pounds to add up as well. The good news is that they don’t have to give up eating Chinese food entirely. By taking the time to make healthier choices, Americans can still enjoy their Chinese food and keep their waistline from expanding. Below are six options for making healthier choices with the next Chinese food takeout order.
Steamed shrimp or vegetable dumplings
Pot stickers are a popular side dish or appetizer for many people. Unfortunately, they contain a lot of high-calorie oil from the deep-frying process. Steamed dumplings, on the other hand, can pack just as much of a punch flavor-wise and weigh in at only about 50 calories each. Dumplings contain carrots and ginger-packed cabbage inside of an extremely thin wrapper made from rice paper. Shrimp or vegetable fillings are also quite filling for being so low in calories.
Moo goo gai pan
The main ingredients in this Chinese favorite are lean chicken and vegetables, making it an excellent choice for the calorie conscious. The entire dish comes in at about 160 calories while also offering a significant amount of protein. Those who are also keeping an eye on their salt and sugar intake might want to request light sauce when placing their takeout order.
Brown rice and scrambled eggs
Ordering fried rice can make the calories add up quickly. Brown rice can make a better alternative, especially for people with diabetes trying to control their blood sugar. It contains a much lower glycemic index than white rice, which can be especially useful in controlling unwanted insulin spikes. Ordering a scrambled egg on the side makes the meal even heathier. Since many Chinese dishes call for a bit of egg, chefs usually have some on hand anyway.
This vegetarian dish contains mostly plants and offers a unique texture experience. Its most common ingredients include onions, carrots, and bell peppers along with water chestnuts, mushrooms, cabbage, and snow peas. The chef brings this all together and covers it with a broth made from light soy sauce. Because many different versions of Buddha’s Delight exist, some might include string beans, broccoli, and tofu as well. The entire dish typically has less than 400 calories.
Chinese eggplant and garlic sauce
This dish is almost all vegetable, which means it’s always a healthy choice. Some variations of Chinese eggplant also include broccoli. If an all-vegetable meal sounds too bland for some people, they can always ask for extra-spicy garlic sauce to go on top of it.
This is a simple meal consisting of bean sprouts, cabbage, celery, and water chestnuts with the option to add a meat such as shrimp, chicken, or pork. The sauce is light enough not to add a lot of extra calories. Some people prefer to include bok choy or extra greens to make the dish bulkier.
Commitment and creativity go a long way when it comes to healthy eating. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way.