Q: How can I eat a low-sodium meal when ordering Chinese take-out?
– Anonymous Reader
A: There are some days when we all don’t feel like cooking but also don’t feel like eating in a restaurant—preferring instead to enjoy our freshly prepared food in the comfort of our own homes with our sweatpants on! It’s OK to do that—especially because you can still stick to a healthy and low sodium diet, even when ordering from a Chinese restaurant.
For some general healthy dining strategies to use when ordering at Chinese restaurants, use these tips from a recent Ask the RD post. With regards to sodium, keep these tips in mind:
- Sauces—like soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, black bean and garlic sauce—are often a huge source of sodium in Chinese dishes. To reduce the sodium, ask for low sodium versions (if available) and/or request less sauce to be used in the preparation of your meal.
- Soups can also be high in sodium. Rather than soup, choose a veggie-filled appetizer, like spring rolls, lettuce wraps, or steamed dumplings, to minimize sodium intake.
- Stick to steamed options rather than fried options to keep sodium levels down.
- Never hesitate to request no added salt in the preparation of your meal—this can make a huge difference in a meal’s sodium content!