By Todd Zwillich
WebMD Medical News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Diners trying to cut calories may want to put down the chopsticks at their favorite Chinese restaurant, suggests an analysis by a consumer group. That’s because though most Chinese restaurant food offers lots of vegetables, it is often brimming with calories.


Still, Chinese entrées — even the vegetarian ones — frequently contain upward of 1,000 calories. That’s half of the calories recommended for the average American adult.

“Dinner portions are still huge,” says Michael Jacobson, MD, the group’s executive director. He also decries most Chinese restaurant dishes for “artery-popping amounts of sodium.”

How to order your food in a Chinese restaurant :

  • Look for dishes that feature vegetables, not meat or noodles. Ask for extra vegetables.
  • Order chicken, tofu, or seafood that is stir-fried or braised; avoid breaded, battered, or deep-fried items.
  • Use chopsticks or a fork — not a spoon — to get food from the serving plate. This helps keep some of the high-fat and high-sugar sauce on the serving plate.
  • Don’t add extra salt and don’t use the high sodium soy sauce..
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