When considering food options while dining out, a huge fraction of the health-conscious Pakistani population opts for Chinese food outlets as their topmost and somewhat only option. This happens for a couple of reasons but mainly is constituted of the fact that all that you are consuming is good: veggies and rice, veggies and stir-fried chicken, veggies, and noodles. What harm would that one more trip to China Town do, right? Nothing but good to our bodies that need all that vitamin and mineral intake that we otherwise would not fancy at home, I mean who in their right minds would eat sabzi at home in their keen interest? The look on our face is priceless each time Ammi Jaan cooks that pot full of bhindi or aloo ki bhujiya. Not to forget, tinday, palak, arvi, and baingan. But when it comes to Chinese food, vegetables are our new best friend and we don’t even recognize it.
Choosing the right kind of starter
Instead of picking something heavy at the very beginning that just kills that raging appetite of yours, stick to broth-based soups for starters the next time you are cooking Chinese at home or eating out. Broth-based soups not only help us manage that appetite well, they also weigh less in calories (around a hundred, approximately). When your body is in a state of hunger, the very first food item that you would consume is capable of making all the difference in the world for you when it comes to weight issues. Hence, choose wisely. Soups are your best friends, just make sure they aren’t heavy loaded special soups like the 19B kind. Those taste divine, we know, but you can opt for them later when your entire meal is the soup itself.
The truth behind sweet & sour chicken
In all honesty, if the Chinese dish that you are ordering has the word ‘sweet’ in it, that gives you all the right reasons to just remove the 100% healthy tag from it because there you are gifting yourself the much-avoided sugar rush. Honey glazed wings, sweet and sour chicken and related dishes contain a very considerable amount of sugar, which is quite obvious now, isn’t it? Hence, stick to the pepper chicken and ginger chicken kind of specialties, even the good old Manchurian is fine as long as it’s all salt and minimal sugar.
What about the fats?
Opting for chicken and seafood instead of beef (hello, saturated fats) and other options will always work in your favor at a Chinese restaurant, and so would picking something outside the ‘stir fry’ category off the menu. Yes, you need to avoid that scrumptious stir-fried chicken with vegetables, unless you are on a cheat day or have been closely managing your calories. Because stir fried makes the best use of vegetable oil, something that can be a gainer for you. Deep fried options such as wings and wontons are also to be avoided.
Picking the right kind of rice
No Chinese food without a dish of rice. Make sure you pick this one wisely: opt for brown rice if available on the menu and if not, just pick anything apart from the egg fried or vegetable fried rice. If plain boiled is way too bland for your taste, alright, maybe you can pick the fried kind but then you need to balance your portions. Maybe have some of the rice and some of the noodles instead of a whole plate full of rice.