Eggs: The Creative Ingredient

5 Low-Calorie Dishes At Chinese Takeout Restaurants

by Ethan Stone

Are you craving Chinese takeout, but also don't want to wreck your diet? Chinese food offers some of the tastiest dishes around. However, there are also many dishes that may not be a great choice if you're on a diet. Fried foods, fatty meats, and heavy oils may taste great, but they can also be high in calories and sodium. Fortunately, most Chinese takeout restaurants also offer dishes that taste great and are low in calories. The next time your family or coworkers order Chinese, you don't have to be left out because of your diet. Just order one of these five dishes and keep your diet on track:

Hot and sour soup or wonton soup. This is a great starter dish for any meal. Both of these soups are very low in calorie count. As an added bonus, they also act as appetite suppressants. You can load up on low-calorie soup as an appetizer. Then you won't have as much of an appetite for your higher-calorie main dish.

Buddha's delight. This is a tasty dish is a popular Chinese option for vegetarians and vegans. It's made primarily from a mix of steamed vegetables. It also uses tofu in place of high-calorie noodles. You're only looking at a couple hundred calories with this dish, even though it's sizable enough to fill any appetite.

Moo goo gai pan. This popular dish is also low in calories and fat. It uses one of the leanest meats available in cubed chicken. It also includes button mushrooms and lightly sauteed vegetables. A full meal of it is only a few hundred calories. If you're really hungry, you could eat a double serving of moo goo gai pan and still eat less calories than you would with one serving of most other Chinese dishes.

Shrimp with lobster sauce. Shrimp is one of the leanest proteins available, so it makes for a great healthy choice in almost any meal. Lobster sauce sounds like it should be rich and fatty, but it's actually a low-calorie sauce option. Combine them and you get a full, tasty dish that's low in calories and fat.

Any steamed vegetable and lean meat combination. Most Chinese takeout restaurants offer you the opportunity to combine your own elements. Skip anything that's fried or heavy in oil. Instead, just combine steamed vegetables with a lean meat, like chicken or shrimp. Also, if you want sauce, get it on the side and use it sparingly.

You can enjoy Chinese takeout and still stick to your diet. If none of these options sound appealing, ask the restaurant for their recommendations. They can suggest tasty, healthy options.