Calories in Chinese Food
What do you do when there’s not time to make dinner? Order out! Pizza and Chinese are two of the most popular take out options. My clients often ask me what I think of Chinese food as a healthy option. Well, I wouldn’t give it a thumbs up. Many of the dishes are over 800 calories – and this is before you add in any fried dumplings or rice! Most people don’t realize how high in calories it actually can be. So I did a little investigative work to find out the calories in Chinese food.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest decided to see how fattening Chinese food really was. They bought food from multiple Chinese restaurants and had it analyzed at a lab.
Here are the calories in Chinese food:
Egg drop soup (one serving in restaurant): 100 calories for each soup
Hot & sour soup
Little pack of fried noodles: 150 calories
|Egg roll||200 calories|
|Spring roll||100 calories|
|BBQ spareribs (4)||600 calories|
|Vegetable Dumplings (6 steamed)||400 calories|
|Eggplant in Garlic Sauce||1000 calories|
|Stir-fried mixed vegetables
|Szechuan string beans||600 calories|
|Shrimp with garlic sauce||700 calories|
|Shrimp with lobster sauce||400 calories|
|Szechuan shrimp||700 calories|
|General tso’s chicken||1300 calories|
|Lemon chicken||1400 calories|
|Kung pao chicken||1400 calories|
|Moo goo gai pan||600 calories|
|Chicken chow mein with crispy noodles||700 calories|
|Chicken with black bean sauce||700 calories|
|Mu shu pork (without the pancakes)||1000 calories|
|Each 8 inch pancake||90 calories|
|Orange crispy beef||1500 calories|
|Beef with broccoli||900 calories|
|Sweet and sour pork||1300 calories|
|Rice and Noodles|
|Chicken chow foon||1200 calories|
|House fried rice||1500 calories|
|House lo mein||1100 calories|
|House chow mein with soft noodles||1200 calories|
These figures do not include rice. Add 200 calories for each cup of white rice
Tips to make your Chinese food healthier:
- Order a steamed dish: ask for protein and veggies steamed with sauce on the side. This is by far the healthiest choice! It’s about 325 calories for the full entree. Add a few Tablespoons of sauce on the side. If you need rice, try to limit it to 1/2 cup of brown rice. All for 450-475 calories.
- Not a bad idea to start the meal with a soup – no crispy noodles of course. Soup helps to fill you up. One bowl is 100 calories
- Some restaurants also have special diet menus where the dishes are prepared in a sauce with soy sauce, broth, ginger, black beans or garlic AND no added oil or cornstarch. These dishes would be substantially lower in calories than the regular dishes maybe by 200-300 calories due to the limited anount of oil used in cooking. However steamed food would still be the lowest.
- Try to eat with chopsticks. It’s hard to shovel in rice with chopsticks.
- If you don’t want the steamed dish, ask for less oil in the stir-fry dish. Sometimes places will listen, other places won’t! I order from Evergreen and they do listen 🙂
- Avoid battered, breaded and double fried or anything that says “crispy”.
- How about ordering one stir fry dish (i.e. chicken with broccoli stir-fry dish for 700 calories) and one dish with steamed shrimp and veggies. (325 calories). By mixing the 2 dishes, you’ll cut calories significantly. And better yet, get 3 meals out of this. Add 1/2 cup of rice to each meal for a total of 430 calories!
- If eating at home, add in your own cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. It’s only 30 calories for a cup vs 200 for the regular rice.Hope these tips help!
I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.