Some Americans hold a common misconception that all Chinese food is unhealthy. This may be true of highly Americanized Chinese food found at fast food chains and malls food courts due to the way these restaurants prepare the food.
Chinese dishes prepared quickly to meet American taste and service expectations often contains high amounts of fat and MSG. This is primarily due to deep frying.
Authentic Chinese food is a different story because the preparation process involves healthier cooking methods and ingredients. Healthy Chinese food is great news for people conscious of what they eat who love good flavor.
Below are several suggestions for healthy food ingredients when preparing or ordering authentic Chinese food. It should come as no surprise that traditional Chinese drinks can be healthier as well.
Bell Peppers Help Meet Vitamin C Recommendations
Both green and red bell peppers come with enough Vitamin C for Americans to get 150 percent of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) daily amount. Along with broccoli and bok choi, two other popular Chinese food ingredients, eating bell peppers regularly can help to prevent cancer.
Green Tea Helps Regulate Blood Glucose Levels
Diabetics who rely on insulin to regulate their blood sugar can get help with the process by regularly drinking green tea. The much-loved Chinese drink can also reduce visible signs of aging due to its high antioxidant content. Green tea tastes great and is easier on the digestive system than typical American favorites like soda and energy drinks.
Ginger is a Natural Way to Fight Nausea
China and other countries practicing Eastern medicine have long used ginger to quell nausea while increasing appetite at the same time. Recent research suggests that ginger can reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and reduce morning sickness during pregnancy.
Sesame Seeds Are More Than Just a Food Topping
Entrees topped with sesame seeds is a common sight in a Chinese restaurant. However, these tiny seeds are not just for decoration as they contain many healthy ingredients. Fiber, protein, calcium, copper, iron, and magnesium are just some of them. Eating sesame seeds regularly can help to lower both cholesterol and blood pressure.
Tofu is an Excellent Protein Source
Tofu, which contains no animal byproducts, is a good choice for vegetarians who want to ensure they take in enough protein each day. This staple of the Chinese diet is full of nutrients that include calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Recommended Cooking Methods When Eating Chinese Food
People will receive the greatest health benefits from Chinese food if they avoid making or ordering deep fried dishes. Oil heated to such a high temperature can quickly turn into a carcinogenic, which means repeated consumption of deep-fried foods increases the risk of cancer.
Deep-fried foods also contain an exceptionally high amount of fat. A diet consisting of high-fat foods can cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and several other serious chronic health conditions.
Sodium content is another important consideration with healthy Chinese food. Many Chinese sauces, especially soy sauce, are high in sodium. Health-conscious individuals should look for alternatives or use less than the recommended amount of sauces when preparing their own food. When eating out, diners should not be afraid to ask for nutritional information to ensure they are consuming safe food ingredients and additives.