The typical Chinese restaurant menu is a sea of nutritional no-nos, a consumer group has found.
General Tso's chicken, a battered, fried chicken dish with vegetables: 1,300 calories, 3,200 milligrams of sodium and 11 grams of saturated fat. That does not include rice (200 calories a cup) and egg rolls (200 calories and 400 milligrams of sodium).
An appetizer 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.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," said Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which did a report released Tuesday.Steve - unfortunately, there is no safe harbor from sodium on the Chinese restaurant menu. While many Chinese restaurants claim to add no MSG (monosodium glutamate) to their food, it istill exists because the sauces they use have hidden MSG ingredients. Some helpful suggestions for eating at a Chinese restaurant:
- Avoid deep-fried meat, seafood or tofu.
- Order your dishes stir-fried, braised or better-yet, steamed.
- Try to limit salt by not adding sauce to your dishes. Most sauces such as duck sauce, hot mustard, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce are loaded with sodium.
- Avoid the appetizers. Stick with the main course.
- Eat half of what you would normally eat. Chinese food is an enticing opportunity for a "pigout" session. Save the rest for leftovers.
- Ask for brown rice instead of white rice.
- Forget the forutne cookie!