Healthier meal options and some tips for staying on track when eating out at a Chinese restaurant.
Contact the restaurant
Let the restaurant know your dietary needs so that they can accommodate you if possible. Always try and get a copy of the menu before you go so you can select what you are going to have. This will help avoid making panic decisions! Always ask if you can create special made stir-fry yourself and ask your waiter if there are any ingredients you aren't sure of.
Most Chinese restaurants serve delicious Green tea. Green tea can reduce cancer risks, cholesterol, blood pressure and tooth decay. Green Tea also increases metabolism, which aids weight loss. Order a pot at the start of your meal for you to sip on throughout the duration of your meal.
Request no added sodium
Cut down on sodium the day you are planning to order Chinese food. Most Chinese dishes have a very high sodium count, so ask for no added sodium to overcome this.
Avoid flour coated and deep fried dishes
Avoid dishes which are deep fried and come with heavy sauces such as Kung Pao Chicken, General Tso's Chicken, Mu Shu Pork, or even Spring Rolls as they often contain high amounts of flour to thicken, which is a carbohydrate. Instead, opt for Cantonese meals if possible, as they tend to be lighter and use fresh ingredients.
Avoid excess rice with your meals
Rice is high in carbohydrates, so try to fill your plate with more vegetables, meat or fish. Order more vegetable dishes or dishes that have a high proportion of vegetables, such as Beef with Broccoli. Ordering steamed vegetables as a side is also a good healthy alternative to filling up on rice.
Foo Yung - Foo Yung is an omlette dish without any carbohydrates. Add as many veggies as you like such as mushrooms, onions and peppers. Nothing is deep-fried and can be plain or contain chicken, beef or prawns.
Chop Suey - Chop Suey is a healthy option for a main as it is usually meat and vegetables with ginger, garlic and soy. Some restaurants add noodles, which you can ask for the dish to come without and to add extra vegetables.