Can Chinese Takeout Be Healthy?

Healthy Chinese Takeout?
Can Chinese Takeout be healthy?

I am sure I am not alone when I order Chinese Takeout and wonder which dishes are the healthiest for my waistline and better for my blood pressure. With Ali Gorman RN, Health Reporter and Cheryl Mettendorf, Producer of 6ABC Action News Diet Detours, we set out to find out the secrets in these Asian dishes. Here is the low down on Lo-Mein and the mystery behind Chicken in Black Bean Sauce.

Chinese Takeout is fast and convenient but beware of the hidden salt and fats in the sauces says Ali in her live segment on 6 ABC Action News. Click here to see the full segment of 6 ABC Action News and Diet Detours.Diet Detours: Chinese Takeout

 We compared calories and sodium in :

DIET DETOUR                                                           HEALTHIER CHOICE

1 Fried Pork Egg Roll                                                                            1 Vegetable Spring Roll

400 calories / 711 mg sodium                                                          160 calories/ 540 mg sodium


2C Chicken in Black Bean Sauce                                         2C Chicken & Snow Peas

638  calories /  low in sodium                                                      240 calories/ 681 mg sodium


2C Pork Lo Mein                                                                        2C Buddah’s Delight

1092 calories/ 1596 mg sodium                                                      490 calories/ low in sodium


1C Pork Fried Rice                                                                        1C Steamed Rice

335 calories /118 mg sodium                                                       190 calories/ 0 mg sodium

All caloric info was taken from the “My Fitness Pal “ website:

 4 Secrets to the Healthier Options when ordering Chinese Food.

  • Sautéed
  • Stir Fried or
  • Steamed
  • Order Sauces on the Side

Finally, here are some more tips from this useful report by the CSPI  to limit calories and fat in Chinese restaurant foods . The  article  is entitled “A Wok on the Wild Side”

  • Look for dishes that feature vegetables, not meat or noodles. Ask for extra vegetables.
  • Order chicken, tofu, or seafood that is stir-fried or braised; avoid breaded, battered, or deep-fried items.
  • Use chopsticks or a fork — not a spoon — to get food from the serving plate. This helps keep some of the high-fat and high-sugar sauce on the serving plate.
  • Don’t add extra salt by adding high-salt sauces to your food, such as soy sauce, duck sauce, and hoisin sauce.