Is Chinese Food Healthy?

If by healthy one means food that is not high in saturated fats, empty calories and unpronounceable preservatives, then yes, Chinese food is healthy.  If one ate nothing but  deep-fried spring rolls, sweet and sour pork and fried rice, then it is not so healthy.  However, these are by no means the only Chinese dishes, and will do little harm as an occasional part of an overall balanced diet.

And the Chinese diet is balanced. Chinese food is very varied which ensures that one is eating a good assortment of proteins, vegetables and starches.  Meats tend to be lean – even Peking duck is a lean dish as nearly all the fat has been rendered off – and tofu is the perfect protein: no fat, no cholesterol and just bland enough to soak up the many delicious sauces that are used in Chinese cooking.  It is true that some of the sauces have sugar and cornstarch in them, but even those are no worse than ketchup.

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The Chinese do not, as some people think, fry everything.  Many dishes are steamed or stewed.  Others are braised roasted or grilled.

Chinese food includes many, many vegetables, which are either steamed or stir-fried to retain their taste and crispness, and maximum nutrition.  The main ingredients in Chinese food can be seen on your plate which means that they have not been highly processed, nor do they need loads of chemicals to preserve them.  They are not far from their natural state, which is the best way for them to be.

Traditional Chinese food is as least as healthy as any other cuisine anywhere in the world.  Westernized Chinese food has unfortunately adopted some of the less healthy choices that Americans in particular love to eat.

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