Food, Health

Chinese Food on a Diet: Simple Tips for Healthier Eating

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Who doesn’t love Chinese cuisine! Whether you’re cooking for yourself or ordering a takeaway, Chinese food is a staple for anyone looking for a treat, offering a myriad of flavors to cater to any taste. So much so that, across the US, there are an estimated 45,000 Chinese restaurants in operation, more than the number of McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants combined!

Unfortunately, Chinese cuisine is often associated with unhealthy, deep-fried and high sodium dishes and this reputation is somewhat unfair. The range of Chinese dishes available are endless, offering a whole host of healthy and nutritious options.

Carry on reading to learn more about eating clean Chinese-style, for the next time you’re deciding on an order or cooking at home.

Ingredients to Build Upon

Nutritious and natural ingredients are plentiful in Chinese cooking. It’s best to stick to these and eat the salty, deep fried dishes that we all love as infrequent treats. Healthiness doesn’t necessarily mean compromising flavor however, use the following as building blocks for healthier Chinese meals.

Herbs and Spices

Luckily, there are a wide range of these to be used and combined together to create an infinite amount of possibilities. Ginger and garlic are often used to add flavor and aroma into food, and they are not only delicious, they have tons of potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.

Plant Based Alternatives

Soy based products like tofu are a staple within this cuisine, and are an excellent source of plant-based protein for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters alike.

Balanced Choices

To fully savour Chinese dishes, while making healthy choices, it’s best to mix food types to create a balanced meal. There are so many different textures, colors and flavors to choose from with Chinese food, so don’t think that your culinary experience will be harmed by these healthier options.

Some of wiser choices you can make in order to maintain a balanced diet while enjoying a Chinese, include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Opt For Steamed and Stir Fried Dishes: These two methods of cooking use less oil and retain more of the nutrients contained in ingredients.


  • Load up on Veggies: From bok choy to broccoli and snow peas, Chinese dishes feature an abundance of tasty vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals.


  • Choose Lean Protein: Chicken, shrimp, tofu and fish are lean protein sources lower in saturated fat.


  • Brown rice over White: Put simply, brown rice is a whole grain, providing more fiber and nutrients than white rice.


Always consider how your dish balances the different food types. Though they are often our favorites, try to avoid a plate heavily weighted towards carbohydrates and protein, healthy eating is all about balance.

Final Thoughts

Though it sometimes gets a bad rep, Chinese food isn’t always unhealthy, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious dishes under this cuisine umbrella. Enjoying that takeaway doesn’t always have to come at the cost of your diet, just be sure to place your next order wisely.

Admittedly, though it’s often best for our health to eat at home, we all need a break now and then. Here’s a link to a high-end Chinese takeaway which offers a great selection of healthier Chinese dishes to choose from,, for when you don’t feel like cooking.


Candid Mama

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