Chinese Takeout: What Are The Healthiest Picks?


This popular takeout fare tends to be on everyone’s speed dial. But it’s always good to know what the healthiest options are, especially when that deep-fried egg roll is calling your name.

Smarter Choices
Here are some phrases to look for:

  • Zheng: steamed
  • Jum: poached
  • Kao: roasted
  • Shao: barbecued

Appetizers and Soups
Soups, including hot and sour, egg drop and wonton, are typically among the lower calorie choices on this part of the menu. If you’re keeping an eye on sodium, though, soups aren’t the way to go (most can run around 800 milligrams per serving). As for other first courses, steamed spring rolls or steamed pork or vegetable dumplings are (not surprisingly) better picks than their fried counterparts. But the dough in dumplings can bring up the calories, so stick to one or two per meal.

Main Dishes
There are plenty of healthier protein options including fish and seafood, lean beef, chicken breast and tofu. But what makes something a better-for-you choice is how the dish is cooked. Steamed, broiled, roasted, poached, grilled and sauteed tend to be healthier cooking methods. And it’s not a bad idea to order your dish with the sauce on the side (2 to 3 tablespoons is plenty).

Not-So-Healthy Choices
These less-than-healthy options should be …read more