When you’re ordering something quick from an Asian restaurant, you might wonder what the healthiest Chinese fast food options are. Chinese take-out can be delicious, but sometimes that flavor comes at the cost of your dieting. A lot of the food is fried in oil and loaded with salt, and those are both no-nos when it comes to keeping your heart healthy and your blood pressure low. That’s no reason to stop eating out, though. You’re only human. If you choose from the items on this list of the three healthiest Chinese fast food options, you can still enjoy the flavors of Chinese take-out and not have to worry about getting MSG’d into an early grave.
The fried version of this food adds excessive trans fat because of the peanut oil in which it’s cooked. Most restaurants offer the choice of steamed or fried dumplings, but even if they don’t go out of their way to offer the steamed version, request it. The flavor is the same, if not better, and they’re much healthier for you. One steamed dumpling contains 45 calories, compared to 175 in the fried version. Go with the healthy Chinese fast food option, and instead of using the salty soy dipping sauce, try out a little spicy mustard.
Hot and Sour Soup.
It’s a toss-up between this one and Egg Drop Soup. Both feature lighter broths that get their flavor from the soup’s ingredients, rather than Wonton soup, which gets its flavor from its salty broth. All that salt is a recipe for high blood pressure, and besides, wouldn’t you rather make the healthy Chinese fast food choice and enjoy some savory natural flavors instead feeling like you’re sucking on a salt lick? That’s gross. If you want the extra protein in your soup, get Egg Drop, but there are a few more calories than there are in Hot and Sour. Egg Drop comes in at 120 calories per cup, while Hot and Sour is only 80 calories per cup. Compare those to the salty Wonton soup, which weighs in at 180 sodium-packed calories.
Shrimp and Broccoli.
Pretty much every Chinese fast food place features an array of “Something and Broccoli” options. Why should you go with the shrimp version? Because shrimp is pretty much lean protein and nothing else. No fat, no nothing. And broccoli is one of those foods that is not only good for you, but also has research behind it that supports its ability to fight certain types of cancer. It’s pretty much a no-brainer that you should pick Shrimp and Broccoli over something like Beef and Broccoli. The shrimp version is a trim 260 calories per cup, while the beef is 380. That’s a big difference, especially when you get into larger portions.
Each dish is delicious, and they are all among the healthiest Chinese fast food options that you can find. Fried Eggrolls and General Tso’s Chicken might be delicious, but if you indulge in them every time you order out, it won’t be long before you’re looking more Sumo than Samurai, right? Be smart and pick these options, and they’ll keep you fighting trim.