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Question: Which Chinese foods are healthy and which should I avoid?
Answer: The best choices are those dishes that are steamed. You would need to specify that the dishes be steamed as most dishes are stir-fried with quite a bit of oil. For example, steamed chicken with veggies, with sauce on the side (i.e. garlic or brown sauce) with brown or white rice. This is a very healthy dish. Steamed dumplings are a good choice as well.
Moo shu dishes are not a bad choice as they tend to be less greasy than some of the other dishes.
If you still want a stir-fried dish, avoid the dishes that contain deep fried items (i.e. "crispy" chicken and mixed vegetables in brown sauce). Also avoid egg rolls, fried dumplings, and fried rice.
Martha McKittrick, RD, CDE, is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified fitness instructor who specializes in weight control, cardiovascular health, diabetes, sports, and general nutrition.
Published Dec. 8, 2003.
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