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  • Jane Buscemi

Dieting while dining at Chinese restaurants



Chinese restaurants can be a dieting pleasure because it’s relatively easy to eat an entire meal without going overboard on fat. However, ordering too many of the wrong dishes can be too much. Additionally, weighing yourself the next day regardless of how well you succeed may not be recommended due to the high sodium load in many dishes.



Taking a look at the appetizers, some more common vegan appetizers are listed below:

Vegan spring roll, 240 calories for 3

Pan Fried vegetable dumplings 305 calories for 4

Steamed vegetable dumplings 100 to 200 calories for 4

Cold sesame noodles 300 calories in a serving

Steamed Edamame 200 calories

Chili Garlic Green beans 260 calories



What you may get out of this is that once again, steamed is better than pan fried and nuts, seeds, and beans, which are nutrition powerhouse, also have a heavier caloric hit. However, beans are relatively low in fat calories when compared to nuts and seeds. Therefore, I order and eat my beans.



It can be difficult to find vegan soups in a omnivorous restaurant, but I present these just in case you’re fortunate enough:

Vegan hot and sour soup 208 calories a cup

Vegan won ton soup 200 calories

Vegetable soup with tofu 200 calories


Clearly soup is a great way to start a meal, and many dieters find this a satisfying and satiating choice.



Stir-fried can be amazing! The secret to a more dietetic stir-fry meal is for the chef to use high heat and a short cooking duration in oil. Look for your vegetables to be firm, not limp. With this in mind, its not difficult to find a suitable main dish. See examples below. Furthermore, as always, look at the dishes as they come out of the kitchen and try to spot firm vegetables and not too many high fat foods.


Moo Shu vegetable with 3 pancakes 375 calories

Broccoli with garlic sauce 350 calories

Eggplant with garlic sauce 400 calories

Bean curd Szechuan style 450 calories

Steamed mixed vegetables with tofu 230 calories

Ma Po Tofu 490 calories

Stir-fried vegetables 150 calories

Vegan Lettuce wraps 260 calories

Kung Pao Brussel Sprouts 370 calories

Stir fried eggplant with sweet chili sauce 280 calories

Broccoli with black bean sauce 150 calories

Broccoli with vegan oyster sauce 250 calories


All these can work for your waistline. The higher calorie dishes contain nuts and beans, but portion sizes can vary as can oil count.



Usually, I skip the rice, but FYI:


Vegan fried rice 250 calories for 2 cups

Brown rice 200 calories 2 cups



I don’t do desserts in Chinese restaurants, but if you must you can often find a vegan fortune cookie that is 30 calories.


Now, do go out and have fun enjoying your next Chinese meal! If you feel that your choices don’t work out, try modifying your dishes next time. Using these guidelines should be helpful, but your choices are still guesses that use some science to back them up. At the end of the day, you never know what an individual chef may do. However, keep trying new dishes, you will find Chinese meals that work for you and your waistline!


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