Chinese food can be a tasty adventure, but you need to be careful when choosing what to eat. Amid the delicious options, there are some culinary temptations that border on the healthiest Chinese food recipes. This culinary adventure is accompanied by a health warning and includes dishes like sweet and sticky General Tso’s chicken and crispy yet high-calorie spring rolls. Uncovering the mysteries underlying these seemingly harmless dishes is crucial as we descend into the depths of soy-drenched secrets and deep-fried delights. Come along for a taste investigation as we explore the guilty pleasures that might cause you to rethink what you order from the Chinese restaurant next time.
General Tso’s Chicken
General Tso’s chicken is one of my favorite dishes to order, but it’s rather unhealthy due to the battered and fried chicken, along with the sugar sauce it comes with. A typical order of General Tso’s chicken has 87.7 grams of fat, which isn’t good for your heart. It also has 62.1 grams of sugar, and your body should only have 50 grams per day at most.
Fried rice is another delicious dish on most Chinese menus that I love, but it adds a lot of extra calories and carbohydrates to your meal. One cup of fried rice from a restaurant usually has 43.2 grams of carbohydrates. While it does have some protein if you add meat or tofu, it’s still not the healthiest.
Lo mein is another dish that adds extra unneeded calories and carbohydrates to your meal. The noodles used for this dish typically have white flour in them, which has close to no nutrients in it. The white flour creation process removes germ and bran, which are great nutrients for your body. Opting for noodles made with wheat is always better.
Barbecue Spare Ribs
While barbecue spare ribs are slightly good for you at about 17 grams of protein per serving, they are sugary and fatty. This cut of meat usually comes from the pig’s belly region, where most of its fat sits. Fat is horrible for your arteries and heart health, making barbecue spare ribs another of the most unhealthy Chinese dishes.
Crab rangoon might not seem that bad because the wontons are usually quite small, but they’re still fried and contain a lot of fat. A single crab rangoon can have about 67 calories and 4.7 grams of fat. If you have too much fat in your diet, weight gain and heart disease are possible.
Fried Egg Rolls
Many Chinese fried egg rolls are chock full of vegetables and meats, making you think that they probably aren’t that bad for your health. However, they do have quite a bit of fat, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that they get fried. Fried food can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart problems, and a shortened life if you eat them too often.
Fried Pork Dumplings
I love dumplings, and they’re always a go-to for me. The pork within the dumplings isn’t too much of a problem, but the dumpling shell itself might be. One dumpling has about 13 grams of protein but has 13 grams of carbohydrates and six grams of fat. The fatty oil they get fried in is also not the greatest for your heart. Enjoy them on occasion, but remember that they aren’t the healthiest choice.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
While a serving of sweet and sour chicken has a high amount of protein, the sauce it’s in will provide your body with 19 grams of added sugar. That’s 38% of your recommended daily intake of sugar. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to the following: nutrition issues, weight gain, increased fat in your bloodstream, decaying teeth.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Similar to the chicken, the sweet and sour pork provides you with a fair amount of protein to keep your body full. However, the sugar and fat content isn’t worth it. Pork tends to have more fat than chicken as well, so a serving of sweet and sour chicken will have about 34 grams of fat.
Orange beef involves pieces of beef being deep-fried until golden, and then the pieces get tossed in a sugary sauce. Both of these processes aren’t good for your health. One cup of orange beef has about 38 grams of carbohydrates and 34 grams of fat. It’s also very high in sodium at 1,260 milligrams. The daily recommended sodium intake is less than 2,300 milligrams per day. Orange beef accounts for over 50% of your daily intake.
Chow fun typically consists of a stir fry of noodles, beef, and vegetables. This dish is slightly better for you due to the lower fat and sodium content compared to other dishes. However, it is a rather greasy dish because it gets stir-fried in oil. Depending on the restaurant’s sauce, it can also have a lot of calories.
Chow mein uses noodles, which can hike up calories and carbohydrates. However, the sodium content makes it one of the worst foods for you, at about 1,000 grams per serving. High sodium diets can lead to high blood pressure, which puts your body at risk for strokes and heart disease.
I love this dish, but like the orange beef, the orange chicken dish includes deep-fried pieces of meat and a sugary sauce. This process leads to 23 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates, and 19 grams of sugar per one-ounce serving. The sodium is also on the higher side at 820 milligrams.