Is Chinese Food Healthy? The Truth About Eating In China

Is Chinese Food Healthy? The Truth About Eating In China

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Chinese food is popular all over the world, but is it healthy? Some people believe that Chinese food is unhealthy because it is often high in fat and sodium. However, others argue that Chinese food can be healthy if it is prepared with fresh ingredients and lean protein. In this article, we will explore the health benefits of Chinese food and discuss how to make healthy choices when eating Chinese food. We will also provide some tips for cooking healthy Chinese food at home.

Is Chinese Food Healthy? The Truth About Eating In China
Is Chinese Food Healthy? The Truth About Eating In China

Healthy Chinese Food

The Importance of Fresh IngredientsWhen it comes to Chinese food, the freshness of the ingredients is key. The best Chinese dishes are made with fresh, seasonal vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Avoid dishes that are made with processed ingredients, artificial flavors, or excessive amounts of oil or salt.[Related post: The Best Chinese Cookbooks and Online Resources](https://tauhuichiban.com.vn/the-best-chinese-cookbooks-and-online-resources/) Cooking MethodsThe way that Chinese food is cooked also affects its healthiness. Steaming, stir-frying, and boiling are all healthy cooking methods that preserve the nutrients in the food. Avoid dishes that are deep-fried or cooked in a lot of oil. Making Healthy ChoicesWhen ordering Chinese food, there are a few things you can do to make healthy choices. First, opt for dishes that are made with lean protein, such as chicken, fish, or tofu. Second, choose dishes that are steamed, stir-fried, or boiled. Third, ask for brown rice instead of white rice. And finally, go easy on the sauces and condiments.

Healthy Chinese Dishes Unhealthy Chinese Dishes
Steamed fish with vegetables Fried rice
Stir-fried chicken with broccoli Sweet and sour pork
Wonton soup Egg rolls

ConclusionChinese food can be a healthy and delicious part of a balanced diet. By making healthy choices when ordering Chinese food, you can enjoy the many health benefits that Chinese food has to offer.

Healthy Chinese Food
Healthy Chinese Food

Chinese People Eat Better

Food Culture

Let’s be clear about one thing: not all food in China can be considered healthy Chinese food. There’s plenty of junk food here too.

And China doesn’t always have a clear understanding of food either. Take this Chinese health notice I received about the as a good example.

But in spite of all this, the Chinese people eat better than most Westerners like me do.

Most people I know tend to think that Chinese people are skinnier and generally healthier-looking because they eat healthy Chinese food.

But that’s not the real reason…

Smaller Plates

I distinctly remember the first time I sat down to eat a plate of noodles. This enormous dish of food was set down in the middle of the table…

A table full of Chinese food
A table full of Chinese food

…and then each person was handed a plate the size of a Chinese mooncake (i.e. about 3-4 inches in diameter).

There were pieces of potato bigger than the plate I was eating off of!

I think I would describe the plate in China as serving two different functions:

  1. A pit stop between the dish and my mouth;
  2. A discard pile for bones and other things I don’t want to ingest.

Very rarely did a plate serve as my personal buffet.

Smaller plates promote smaller portions.

Obviously a small plate can’t stop me from gorging myself, which I still did on occasion.

But I did learn that I don’t feel quite as obligated to continue eating when my plate is often empty.

Pros of Smaller Plates Cons of Smaller Plates
Promotes smaller portions Can’t stop people from gorging themselves

Chinese People Eat Better
Chinese People Eat Better

The Real Reason Chinese People are Healthier

Food Culture

Let’s be clear about one thing: not all food in China can be considered healthy Chinese food. There’s plenty of junk food here too.

And China doesn’t always have a clear understanding of food either. Take this Chinese health notice I received about the as a good example.

But in spite of all this, the Chinese people eat better than most Westerners like me do.

Most people I know tend to think that Chinese people are skinnier and generally healthier-looking because they eat healthy Chinese food.

But that’s not the real reason…

Smaller Plates

I distinctly remember the first time I sat down to eat a plate of noodles. This enormous dish of food was set down in the middle of the table…

A table full of Chinese food
A table full of Chinese food

…and then each person was handed a plate the size of a Chinese mooncake (i.e. about 3-4 inches in diameter).

There were pieces of potato bigger than the plate I was eating off of!

I think I would describe the plate in China as serving two different functions:

  1. A pit stop between the dish and my mouth;
  2. A discard pile for bones and other things I don’t want to ingest.

Very rarely did a plate serve as my personal buffet.

Smaller plates promote smaller portions.

Obviously a small plate can’t stop me from gorging myself, which I still did on occasion.

But I did learn that I don’t feel quite as obligated to continue eating when my plate is often empty.

Pros of Smaller Plates Cons of Smaller Plates
Promotes smaller portions Can’t stop people from gorging themselves

They Share Their Healthy Chinese Food

Instead of getting a plate of food just for themselves, most meals in China consist of multiple dishes spread out in the middle of the table for all guests to share.

At best, I’ll have my own bowl of rice, but that’s it.

A group of people sharing a meal at a Chinese restaurant
A group of people sharing a meal at a Chinese restaurant

Sharing dishes at a Chinese restaurant is common and usually ends up decreasing the amount of food I consume.

Unfortunately western food doesn’t always lend itself to sharing but my wife and I have learned a simple lesson that has been both cost-effective and healthy…

We eat less when we share the table.

When going out to eat in America, we now tend to either split a plate (restaurants serve more than enough food on a plate nowadays!) or we get our own plates, split them and take half home as leftovers.

The Real Reason Chinese People are Healthier
The Real Reason Chinese People are Healthier

Four Aspects of Chinese Food Culture

1. China Uses Smaller Food Plates

Have you ever noticed that the plates in Chinese restaurants are much smaller than the plates in Western restaurants? This is not a coincidence. The Chinese believe that eating from smaller plates helps to promote smaller portions. When you have a smaller plate, you are less likely to overeat. This is because you will feel fuller faster, even if you eat the same amount of food.

Related post: The Best Chinese Cookbooks and Online Resources

Pros of Smaller Plates Cons of Smaller Plates
Promotes smaller portions Can’t stop people from gorging themselves

2. They Share Their Healthy Chinese Food

Another way that Chinese food culture promotes health is by encouraging people to share their food. When you share your food, you are less likely to overeat. This is because you will be more aware of how much food you are eating. You will also be less likely to feel pressured to finish everything on your plate.

Four Aspects of Chinese Food Culture
Four Aspects of Chinese Food Culture

Final Thought

Chinese food can be a healthy and delicious part of a balanced diet. By making healthy choices when eating Chinese food, you can enjoy the many health benefits that Chinese food has to offer. So next time you are looking for a healthy meal, consider ordering Chinese food. You may be surprised at how delicious and healthy it can be.