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Thread: Chinese restaurant food unhealthy, group warns

  1. #1
    Elite Member mtlebay's Avatar
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    Default Chinese restaurant food unhealthy, group warns

    Chinese Restaurant Food Called Unhealthy
    Study Casts Critical Eye at Typical Menu

    The typical Chinese restaurant menu is a sea of nutritional no-nos, a consumer group has found.

    A plate of General Tso's chicken, for example, is loaded with about 40 percent more sodium and more than half the calories an average adult needs for an entire day.

    The battered, fried chicken dish with vegetables has 1,300 calories, 3,200 milligrams of sodium and 11 grams of saturated fat.

    That's before the rice (200 calories a cup). And after the egg rolls (200 calories and 400 milligrams of sodium).

    "I don't want to put all the blame on Chinese food," said Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which did a report released Tuesday.

    "Across the board, American restaurants need to cut back on calories and salt, and in the meantime, people should think of each meal as not one, but two, and bring home half for tomorrow," Liebman said.

    The average adult needs around 2,000 calories a day and 2,300 milligrams of salt, which is about one teaspoon of salt, according to government guidelines.

    In some ways, Liebman said, Italian and Mexican restaurants are worse for your health, because their food is higher in saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease.

    While Chinese restaurant food is bad for your waistline and blood pressure - sodium contributes to hypertension - it does offer vegetable-rich dishes and the kind of fat that's not bad for the heart.

    However - and this is a big however - the veggies aren't off the hook. A plate of stir-fried greens has 900 calories and 2,200 milligrams of sodium. And eggplant in garlic sauce has 1,000 calories and 2,000 milligrams of sodium.

    "We were shocked. We assumed the vegetables were all low in calories," Liebman said.

    Also surprising were some appetizers: An order of six steamed pork dumplings has 500 calories, and there's not much difference, about 10 calories per dumpling, if they're pan-fried.

    The group found that not much has changed since it examined Chinese food 15 years ago. That's not all bad, Liebman said.

    "We were glad not to find anything different," she said. "Some restaurant food has gotten a lot worse. Companies seem to pile on. Instead of just cheesecake, you get coconut chocolate chip cheesecake with a layer of chocolate cake, and lasagna with meatballs."

    The group says there is no safe harbor from sodium on the Chinese restaurant menu, but it offers several tips for making a meal healthier:

    Look for dishes that feature vegetables instead of meat or noodles. Ask for extra broccoli, snow peas or other veggies.

    Steer clear of deep-fried meat, seafood or tofu. Order it stir-fried or braised.

    Hold the sauce, and eat with a fork or chopsticks to leave more sauce behind.

    Avoid salt, which means steering clear of the duck sauce, hot mustard, hoisin sauce and soy sauce.

    Share your meal or take half home for later.

    Ask for brown rice instead of white rice.
    And 2 hours later, I'm hungry, as most of the food is comprised of noodles and rice.

    Top News- Chinese Restaurant Food Called Unhealthy - AOL News
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    is this REAL chinese food or the americanized junk?
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member mtlebay's Avatar
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    ^^ Good question. 'Cos I know fortune cookies don't exist in China, so I wonder how authentic the General Tao is? (although I don't remember seeing General Tao on the menu when I visited China).
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    Gold Member greeneyedbeauty's Avatar
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    I wonder why most Chinese people appear to be in shape and tiny if their food is so bad?
    I love me some Chinese but I knew Gen. Tso's was the worst, and with it being my favoirte, I rarely get to eat Chinese.

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    Elite Member mtlebay's Avatar
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    ^^ Me too I pondered that question, and I have a great suspicion that it's cos Chinese (and other Asian countries) eat with chopsticks.

    Most Chinese food is pre-sliced before being cooked in the wok, so it's smaller portions of food that's being consumed by the eater. And of course we all know how less of a food portion we can manage in between those slippery sticks, so compare that to the quantity of beef/chicken that's on our forks????

    I find eating with chopsticks slows down my eating, compared to knife and fork and we all know about the 'takes 20 minutes for our brain to register that we're full' saying. Could be true...
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    I dunno, the stir fry i do is pretty damn healthy.. fresh meat and veggies, maybe a dollop of soy sauce (come on.. its soy sauce, aint gonna kill you) and maybe some orange or sweet and sour sauce.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Palermo's Avatar
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    I have many Asians friends since I live in SF, and nobody has a clue who General Tso is. Most of the dishes we commonly think of as Chinese are made for us round eyed people, they don't eat that crap. Like sweet and sour chicken.

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    Gold Member greeneyedbeauty's Avatar
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    ^ Thanks for that tid-bit of info. I wonder what a REAL chinese menu looks like. lol

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    When they did this report on CNN they had an extra thing with some Chinese official (seriously...) and he basically said authentic chinese food is NOTHING like the americanized crap and is not nearly that bad for you.

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    Silver Member CherubRock's Avatar
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    So where does Panda Express factor into all of this? Cuz I love their Orange chicken.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    What about my Kung Pao Veggies that I cannot live without. Where do you think they fit in? This is very upsetting. Is nothing sacred to the Food Nazis ??
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    ^ Probably cooked in a decent amount of oil and salt if it's the americanized stuff.

    And about Panda Express: 1 serving (5.5 oz) has 480 calories, 21 g fat, and 820 mg sodium.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Go dine out with Chinese friends and see what they order. Mostly vegetable and tofu dishes.

    Plus, I heard that the tea served with dinner helps digest fat.

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoDayButToday View Post
    When they did this report on CNN they had an extra thing with some Chinese official (seriously...) and he basically said authentic chinese food is NOTHING like the americanized crap and is not nearly that bad for you.
    Exactly. REAL Chinese food, from most regions, is one of the healthiest diets you can live on. High on vitamins, low on fat, great in variety.
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    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    My sister-in-law is Chinese - first generation - and I have tasted the real deal. Nothing like the greasy nasty buffet style served up around here. It's a lot of tofu and vegetables cooked using very little fat/oil. Also the portions are way smaller. She also drinks nothing but water and lots of tea. She is like a size 2. (Damn her.)
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