10 Ways to Cut Calories at Chinese Restaurants

Chinese cuisine may be known for breaded, fried and saucy choices that can do in your diet, but like so many other cuisines, it’s earned a bad rap.  Traditional Chinese food is based on some of our favorite ingredients like vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.  Who knew Chinese food could fit into a healthy eating diet so easily?

Here are some dietitian tips that can help you cut calories on your next order at a Chinese restaurant:

  1. Request extra vegetables – Vegetables are generally low in calories – meaning more nutrition and filling food with fewer calories.
  2. Skip the sauce – Sauce often adds calories, fat and sodium to otherwise healthful ingredients.  Skip it or request it on the side to add as needed.
  3. Forget the fried – Go with steamed, grilled or stir-fried choices in place of deep fried options to do your diet a favor.
  4. Start with tea – Hot tea is often a staple at Chinese restaurants.  Starting your meal with tea can help quell hunger to prevent overeating when the food arrives.
  5. Perfect portions – Whether you’re ordering family-style or individual choices, keep portions in check to save on calories.  There are often multiple servings included in each order!  This portion guide can help you estimate how much to eat now and how much to save for later.
  6. Go with the grain – Instead of noodles, opt for steamed rice (brown rice whenever possible).  Not only does the rice offer more fiber, but also often fewer calories and less fat, as noodles are often tossed in oil before making their way to your table.
  7. Savor seafood – When not fried, seafood is generally relatively low in calories.  Steamed choices are especially good protein options for those who are calorie-conscious.
  8. Request less oil – Oil is a staple in cooking, especially in stir-fried Chinese favorites.  Requesting less oil cuts calories and fat without cutting flavor.
  9. Create your own – Pair a broth-based soup with a side of vegetables or Buddha’s Delight for a filling meal with fewer calories.
  10. Opt for spring rolls vs. egg rolls – If egg rolls are part of your standard order, this is an easy way to cut calories.  Ditch the deep fried choice and go with fresh spring rolls instead.

Healthy Dining’s dietitians make it easy with Chinese restaurants coast to coast that serve up calorie-conscious menu choices like these!  Check out these restaurants on Healthy Dining Finder and order one of these hand-picked dishes next time you’re in the mood for Chinese food.