Many Chinese foods contain high sodium levels, causing discomfort and thirst.
The average daily usage is 2300 milligrams, but even after a single serving, some Chinese meals exceed this amount. When we consume too much sodium, it causes trouble for our hearts, skin, weight, and blood pressure. In addition, Chinese food is often filled with hidden calories and questionable ingredients.
As a side note, there are some healthy takeout options for those who have a craving for Chinese food. And you will be able to adjust menu items according to your preferences. Moreover, if you scan the menu, you’ll often find a section with choices lower in fat, sugar, and salt. Going with it is the better option.
We have listed 14 healthy low calorie Chinese food options that can be full fill your dream.
1. MOO GOO GAI PAN
This is an Americanized version of a traditional Cantonese dish, and moreover, button mushrooms are combined with stir-fried chicken slices and other vegetables such as bok choy, snow peas, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. The syrupy, sugary sauces in many Americanized Chinese dishes can result in high blood sugar levels, explains Boyd. With this choice, you will get all the fiber and protein you need without having to worry about that insulin spike.
2. Steamed dumplings
Generally, Chinese restaurants offer dumplings filled with seasoned meat and vegetables, most often pork and cabbage.
If you wish to reduce calories and fat, you can steam them instead of frying them. Each medium steamed dumpling contains 40 calories.
Tip: If you have a salt sensitivity, you should limit your intake of soy sauce-based dipping sauce because it is low in calories but high in sodium.
3. BUDDHA’S DELIGHT
Buddhists originally ate this dish, but it has become popular worldwide. It’s also a meat-free option that’s both light and healthy for vegetarians.
A typical recipe for this dish includes veggies, tofu, and a little bit of light sauce, says Boyd. Almost everything is steam-cooked, which means it has fewer calories than most other Chinese takeout dishes. It’s not always vegan, but many traditional recipes don’t allow egg or dairy, so consult the restaurant before ordering.
4. Kung pao chicken
Known for its spicy, peanut-fed chicken, peanuts, and chili peppers, Kung Pao chicken is one of the most popular dishes in Sichuan.
This tasty is high in protein, micronutrients like niacin, and monounsaturated fats from peanuts.
If you’re trying to limit your sodium intake, ask the restaurant for extra veggies and limit the portion size if the restaurant uses high-sodium ingredients.
5. Eggplant with garlic sauce
This dish is grilled and topped with garlic sauce and made with smoky eggplant and tangy garlic sauce, and the star ingredient of this dish is eggplant, which is low in calories and provides several essential nutrients, such as fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium.
The dish also contains other nutrient-rich ingredients, including garlic, ginger, and peppers.
Tips: If you’re choosing brown rice as a side dish, you’ll increase the fiber content of your meal and get an extra serving of whole grains.
6. Panda Express: Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
Each serving of grilled chicken has 300 calories and 36 grams of protein, so we can say this classic Chinese food choice makes it an excellent healthy option.
Broccoli, kale, and cabbage-high-fiber super greens make this a healthy and balanced meal. In addition to its vitamin C content, broccoli gives you a nutritional boost too.
7. Pei Wei: Kung Pao Steamed Shrimp
The traditional Kung Pao dish is loaded with fat from frying, but you can save almost 20 grams of fat and 300 calories if you choose the steamed shrimp version.
When we consider ingredients, first and all, we can consider peanuts because it’s packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and resveratrol, which have many health benefits, including reducing heart disease risk. Moreover, antioxidants found in garlic can improve immunity and lower high blood pressure too.
8. Moo shu pork
Moo Shu Pork is made with sliced pork, scrambled eggs, and vegetables. Typically cabbage and mushrooms are stir-fried in a light sauce. You can easily omit or replace rice if you’re on a ketogenic diet.
It is an ideal meal to prepare at home since you can control the carb count by making the sauce from scratch. The sauce is not too sweet, thick, or carb-heavy, so it’s an excellent option for dining out.
9. Pei Wei: Thai Dynamite with Steamed Shrimp
This entrée is spicy but only contains 295 calories per small portion. Vitamin C and other antioxidants are found in Thai basil, which gives shrimp a unique flavor. Steamed chicken is much healthier than fried chicken (about 200 calories less).
You can save about 250 calories by omitting lettuce cups. The capsaicin in Sriracha sauce boosts metabolism, improves mood, and enhances memory.
10. Panda Express: Broccoli Beef
Vitamin C-rich broccoli plays a central role in this dish, followed by lean and savory beef. Only 150 calories is an intelligent choice for Chinese food, and it has lower sodium and fat content than many other dishes (about 520 mg of sodium and 7 grams of fat).
Tip: The meal is less than 600 calories, even if you eat a side dish of steamed brown rice.
11. Steamed vegetables
Steaming is a standard cooking method in the Chinese menu. Steaming dumplings and steaming greens are two famous examples. You can add low-carb greens such as bok choy or Chinese broccoli to your Chinese meals by steaming them with oil, salt, and pepper.
12. Baked fish
Chinese restaurant’s buffets are always packed with baked salmon. In most cases, the fish is seasoned and served without sauce, and, in most cases, the entire fillet is placed on the serving line, so customers can choose what size they want.
Cooked salmon offers many health benefits, including omega-3 fats and protein, and it is a carb-free preparation that is perfect for keto dieters.
13. Egg drop soup
You can make egg drop soup at home, and to make it happen, you need to mix eggs and broth with xanthan gum.
On the other hand, many egg drop soups at Chinese restaurants are pre-made or thickened with cornstarch, so they are high in carbs, but egg drop soup shouldn’t contain high-carb strips of fried wonton because they these with scallions chopped fine.
14. Egg foo young
The Chinese omelet, egg foo young, contains vegetables like cabbage, bean sprouts, and onions. You can also order egg foo young with meats such as beef, pork, chicken, or shrimp when dining out.
Because they contain only eggs, vegetables, and meat fillings, as well as the oil they’re fried in, they are typically low in carbs.
Chinese food contains carbohydrates in rice and noodles, sweet sauces, and battered and fried proteins.
Tips: You can reduce the carb content of homemade and restaurant dishes by avoiding rice and noodles, thick and sweet sauces, and flour- or cornstarch-battered meats.
Staying with these tips allows you to enjoy a portion of healthy Chinese food.