Lighter Healthier Chinese Dishes That Won’t Hurt Your Figure

The menus served in Chinese restaurants are infamous for having items that are deep-fried and battered and filled with sugary, salty sauces. The dishes offered are usually massive amounts of fried rice or oily noodles coupled with fatty meats. But there also Chinese foods that are light and can be eaten by people who are looking for a well-balanced and healthy diet or for those who are watching their weight or trying to lose weight.

Here are some of the lighter healthier Chinese dishes that you can choose:

1. Vegetables Spring Rolls

For appetizers you can order veggie spring rolls that contain less than 85 calories per roll in lieu fried eggs rolls that have been cooked deep fried.

2. Wonton Soup or Hot & Sour Soup

One cup of these incredibly delicious starters will only add 80 – 100 calories to your body. It will also help squash your appetite. Studies have shown that before a meal, eating a broth-based soup can help you end up eating less food in total.

3. The Buddha’s Delight

This Chinese dish is packed with protein-rich tofu and vegetables. This low-calorie savory dish can leave you satisfied for as little as 200 calories.

4. Steamed Vegetable Dumplings

There are only 40 calories in a single steamed-cooked vegetable. So, a couple of this tasty filling appetizer before your main meal will only cost you 80 calories.

5. Moo Goo Gai Pan

This irresistible morsel is made from cubed or sliced chicken, spices, button mushrooms, and lightly-sautéed vegetables. There is about less than 280 calories is full cup of this fiber-rich menu. So, you will just be taking in 560 calories if you eat a couple of cups of this delectable stuff. These are far fewer calories than a much smaller serving of several other dishes found on a take-out menu.

6. Broccoli & Chicken

A cup of broccoli and chicken contains a mere 280 calories. Broccoli is a highly nutritious food. This cruciferous veggie is rich in antioxidants, fiber, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

7. Shrimp with Garlic Sauce

There is about 700 calories in one full order of this dish. So, you can just consume 350 calories of this if you share half of it with others. Moreover, this dish is extremely filling as it has lean protein from the shellfish and high in fiber from the vegetable.

8. Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

Shrimp contains lean protein and when it is combined with lobster sauce sounds, a fourth of a cup contains just an incredibly low 50 calories! A full dish may only be 450 calories, which is not too bad for such an exotic and mouthwatering dish.

9. Lean Protein & Steamed Vegetables

A dish comprised of lean protein (tofu or lean beef, fish, shrimp, scallops, or chicken) and steamed vegetables with sauce on the side is a menu that’s low in calories. Instead of filling you out it will fill you up.

10. Vegetables with Chicken or Steamed Shrimp

When they’re not deep-fried and breaded, both chicken and shrimp are good sources of high-grade lean protein. Protein is essential for maintaining and building muscle mass and enables you to stay full for longer.

11. Fortune Cookie

One fortune cookie contains only 30 calories and so you can enjoy this traditional after-meal treat without feeling guilty afterwards.

What Really Matters

Chinese food doesn’t necessarily have to be a diet disaster. Eat wisely by selecting dishes that are full of lightly stir-fried (you can request them to use very little oil) or steamed vegetables and lean proteins (lean beef, tofu, chicken, fish, shellfish). Eat slowly. You can use chopsticks for this. This will give your stomach plenty of time to transmit signals to your brain that you are sated.


Amy-SuiQun Lui, L.Ac. is a Board Certified and Licensed Acupuncturist in Cleveland, OH.

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