Healthy Chinese Food Options
Sep 9, 2015

Healthy Chinese Food Options

Chinese restaurants and buffets are pretty easy to come by. The menu typically resembles that of a fried-food wonderland with a myriad of sugary sauces making one trip to this style of restaurant tricky. However, there are healthy Chinese food options to order at a Chinese restaurant. Below are the appetizers and main dishes to choose from that will certainly satisfy your palate without adding excessive empty calories.



  • Egg drop, hot and sour, and wonton soup are examples of broth-based soups with fewer than 100 calories but very filling. It’s a good way to start a meal, especially if you plan on ordering healthy and controlling the portion size of your main dish.
  • Steamed vegetable dumplings sit at about 40 calories. A single steamed veggie dumpling is a good appetizer to start with prior to your healthy main dish. And it doesn’t take up too many calories.
  • Veggie spring rolls are a healthier alternative to the fried egg rolls and order a spring roll made with vegetables instead. You can even dip the roll into low-sodium soy sauce, or just enjoy it alone. Without the soy sauce you are looking at approximately 80 calories per roll.


Main Dishes

Your best bet here is to choose the dishes that are not battered or fried. And avoid the sweet, sugary-based sauces. Brown rice is preferred over whole-wheat noodles or fried rice. Consume just 1/3 cup of the rice to keep carbs to a minimum. Any dish pairing steamed vegetables with lean protein, such as chicken, scallops, shrimp, fish, lean beef or tofu, along with sauce on the side, is a low-calorie healthy dish.

  • Chicken with a vegetable, such as peppers, or broccoli is guaranteed to be a healthy dish, as it is a lean protein paired with vitamin-rich vegetables. Just ask for the sauce on the side to control your calories by dipping.
  • Moo Goo Gai Pan is prepared with sautéed vegetables, mushrooms, spices and chicken.
  • The Buddha’s delight contains steamed veggies and tofu with as little as 200 calories.
  • Steamed shrimp combines lean protein from the shellfish with lobster or garlic sauce as typical choices.
  • Fortune cookies are 30 calories, just in case you want a traditional low-calorie fix at the end of your meal.


Chinese food doesn’t have to be an unhealthy dining option. Plan on ordering dishes that focus on lean proteins with vegetables, and are steamed, or lightly stir fried. Avoid the sugary sauces and choose brown rice over noodles or fried rice. Stick to these guidelines and you will leave feeling full without the typical carb overload.