Chinese people have a unique outlook on food since ancient times. The two great Chinese philosophers, Confucius and Taoism, contributed to the way the Chinese food is prepared and served. The food also stresses the value of the precise blend of herbs and condiments and that well prepared food should be eaten with harmony.
Today, Chinese food is very popular in the modern world among all ages of people. But unfortunately, most Chinese recipes available at restaurants are “Americanised” for our palates, making our physique unfit. But that does not make this tasty food unavailable.
People love this Chinese food, knowing it is very high in calories. Fried rice is one of those delicious foods that everyone in the world seems to like. But a restaurant’s typical fried rice or noodles (Chop-sue) is not that good. Because of its preparation method (usually made with eggs and unhealthy oil), it is high in fat and cholesterol. Most of other Chinese food is also diet-defying, with 65 to 70 percent of its calories coming from fat. Especially foodstuffs that are batter-dipped and deep-fried before being buried into sauce are the worst one like sweet-and-sour shrimp.
It is said that sweet and sour sauce is comparable to adding a sugar cube to each bite. Also be careful of dishes related to crispy like ‘chow-mein’ noodles, which increase the calorie intake considerably.
An authentic Chinese food is prepared with poly unsaturated oils and butter or cheese and cream are not used. In an ideal Chinese food, emphasis is given to steam rice, noodles and vegetables. It is better to order steamed rice (if possible brown rice) and noodles. Plain or steam rice is a complex carbohydrate, which is comparatively low in calories and this boost up the metabolism.
If you order fried rice occasionally, tell them not to add egg as the eggs in fried rice mean a high cholesterol count.
When in doubt, your best option would be to order a dish that comes with vegetables and is not deep-fried. Keep away from the deep-fried appetisers such as Egg Rolls.
Try to cut down on sodium as much as possible the day some one is planning for Chinese food as Chinese restaurant dishes have a tendency towards very high sodium count. Also do not order dishes with heavy sauces. Clear vegetable-based soup is a great low-calorie appetiser and will help you keep your appetite in control.
In simple words, dishes that are prepared with heavy sauces, battered or floured and deep-fried should be avoided. Vegetable dishes or dishes that have a high proportion of vegetables are not bad.
So, before ordering in a Chinese restaurant — let the restaurant know your dietary needs so that they can accommodate you if possible.
Have A Nice Day
All health information to keep you up to date
Dr Rubaiul Murshed
Source: The Daily Star, November 29, 2008