The worst Chinese takeout dishes aren’t the ones you’d expect.
When you want something quick and delicious, Chinese is one of the best types of takeout to order! There’s something wonderful about the fried noodles and nice, flavorful meats, and stir-fried veggies that makes it easy to scarf down an order for two all by yourself. Sadly, Chinese food is nowhere near healthy! While there are a few nutritious options, most Chinese food is pretty low on the “health food” scale.
Here are the worst Chinese takeout dishes on the menu:
- Fried Rice/Noodles — Yes, it’s delicious, but do you have any idea how much oil they use to fry the rice or noodles? A LOT! You’ll get about ¾ of your daily calorie intake from just one large portion of fried rice or noodles, and almost no nutritional value. If you’re a smart dieter, you’ll steer well clear of any and all rice and noodle dishes!
- Kung Pao/Orange/General Tsao’s Chicken –– These are some of the most popular of the Chinese takeout dishes, but also some of the least healthy. Why is that? Simple: it’s all deep fried. Small chunks of chicken are dipped into a thick cornstarch batter and dropped into a deep-fryer. The result is a VERY high calorie piece of meat that contains very little in the way of protein. Add a high-sugar glaze, and the result is an unhealthy menu item.
- BBQ Spare Ribs –– What could be better than a plate of spare ribs covered in the rich Chinese BBQ sauce? Sadly, a plate of spare ribs is very high on the “do not eat” list, thanks to the fact that they’re loaded with saturated fat. The spare ribs are a very fatty part of the animal, so they’re also high in calories. Worst of all, they’re usually eaten as an “appetizer”, meaning you’re going to consume more calories after eating these high-calorie ribs!
READ MORE: Why Enriched Flours Are Unhealthy
- Breaded Shrimp –– While shrimp are fairly low in calories, the breading and deep frying makes this a less than healthy option. You end up eating way too many calories, and that’s before you add on the rice, noodles, or spring rolls!
- Crab Rangoon –– Have you ever stopped to examine this delicious little treat? It’s basically deep fried pastry stuffed with high-fat cream cheese, mayonnaise, and artificial crab. If you add a dipping sauce, you end up with WAY too many calories of sugar and fat. Definitely not a healthy choice.
- Spring Rolls –– Spring rolls may contain some veggies, but that doesn’t push them into the “healthy food” category. There is usually a fairly large amount of meat inside, and the rice paper wrapped around the roll is rich in carbs and calories with no fiber to balance it out. To top it off, the roll is dropped into a vat of oil and deep fried until crispy. If you’re trying to go healthy, you should never order the spring rolls.
- Cookies –– The cookies served at your average Chinese restaurant are, surprise surprise, a good deal less healthy than your average cookie. Not only do they contain the same high quantities of sugar and refined flour that you get in a Mrs. Fields or Oreo cookie, but the cookie is actually dropped into oil and deep fried. They basically take something unhealthy and double down on the bad, making these cookies a “no no” for your healthy diet.
If you’re trying to eat healthy, these are a few of the worst Chinese takeout dishes you could ask for!