Three Entrees to Avoid at Chinese Restaurants

Chinese restaurants are a haven for those who love fried, salty foods–and while the foods may be delicious, they can be extremely damaging to your health. Research has found that some of the items on the menu at Chinese restaurants can contain as many as 1300 calories and 400 milligrams of sodium–nearly 3/4 of your daily calorie needs and twice the amount of recommended sodium. Below are some of the worst choices you can make at a Chinese restaurant. Avoid these dishes to achieve optimal health!

General Tso’s Chicken

This menu item can often be mistaken as being relatively healthy–after all, it has chicken, not beef, and typically comes with a large serving of vegetables. But in order to understand how unhealthy this dish actually is, it must be examined more closely.

While chicken often is a healthy option, when it’s deep fried, as is the case with General Tso’s Chicken, the fat and calorie content can go through the roof. And the vegetables served with this popular dish aren’t much healthier. Research has found that the peas, carrots, and peppers that are offered along with this entree are loaded with salt and other preservatives which can contribute to high blood pressure and a bloated feeling.

If you do have a craving for this dish, consider making it at home. Exchange the fried chicken for a grilled version, and add steamed fresh vegetables.

Egg Rolls

Like General Tso’s Chicken, eggs rolls, which are a popular menu item at many Chinese restaurants, pack a large supply of calories and sodium. In addition, eggs rolls are typically fried, providing you with saturated fat. Saturated fat is some of the worst fat for a healthy diet. Research has found that it is one of the prime contributors to cases of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and some cancers. Request that your egg rolls be prepared with half of the salt, and see if the chef can bake, broil, or grill them instead of using the deep fryer.

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce and Rice

While eggplant does have numerous benefits, including being a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which is essential in providing a feeling of fullness and preventing overeating, it’s the add-ons that make this dish especially bad.

For starters, the garlic sauce that most Chinese restaurants serve is loaded with salt and fat–all of which are extremely detrimental to your health. Finally, this dish typically comes with a large serving of fried rice, which as you can probably guess contains tons of saturated fat. If you insist on ordering this dish, request plain steamed white rice–or even better, whole grain rice (which more and more Chinese restaurants are now offering). If you can stand it, skip the rice altogether and stick with a healthy salad instead.


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