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Old 03-21-2007, 05:24 PM   #1
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Chinese Take Out Food is NOT Healthy says CSPI

Wok Carefully: CSPI Takes a (Second) Look at Chinese Restaurant Food ~ Newsroom ~ News from CSPI

A piece from the link:

• Appetizers: An order of six steamed pork dumplings has 500 calories, so each one has about 80 calories. (Steaming, as opposed to pan-frying, saves surprisingly few calories, only about 10 per dumpling.) An Egg Roll has twice the calories of a Spring Roll (200 versus 100). An order of four BBQ Spare Ribs has 600 calories, 14 grams of saturated fat, and 900 mg of sodium, making it the unhealthiest Chinese appetizer CSPI analyzed.

• Vegetables: Eggplant in Garlic Sauce has 1,000 calories and 2,000 milligrams of sodium. Szechuan String Beans or Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables, sometimes called Buddha’s Delight, cuts the calories roughly in half (600 and 500 calories, respectively).

• Shrimp: Shrimp dishes are among the healthiest choices on Chinese restaurant menus, according to CSPI. Szechuan Shrimp and Shrimp with Garlic Sauce each have about 700 calories; Shrimp with Lobster Sauce has only 400. But like almost everything else on the menu, these dishes have too much sodium, ranging from 2,300 mg to 3,000 mg.

• Chicken: Lemon Chicken, which is battered, deep-fried, and served with a sugary yellow sauce, has 1,400 calories and 13 grams of saturated fat. CSPI says that’s like eating three fried McChicken sandwiches plus a 32-oz. Coke at McDonald’s. Chicken with Black Bean Sauce has half the calories (700) but more sodium (3,800 mg) than any other dish CSPI analyzed.

• Beef: Orange (or Crispy) Beef has 1,500 calories, 11 grams of saturated fat, and 3,100 mg of sodium. Unfry the beef and add a heaping portion of broccoli, and the dish loses more than a third of its calories. Beef with Broccoli has about a half-pound of broccoli, which helps cut the calories to 900.

• Noodles and Fried Rice: Most of these are “a load of greasy, refined carbs,” says CSPI. The group’s test of Chicken Chow Foon (also called Chicken Chow Fun) found that it was fairly similar to the Lo Mein and Fried Rice tested in years past. All weigh in at 1,100 to 1,500 calories and 2,700 to 3,600 mg of sodium.


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Old 03-21-2007, 06:08 PM   #2
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Yes, I saw that headline on the news today, kleenex. The details are even more depressing.

Or they might be to me, if I had Chinese food more than once, maybe twice, a year, as a special treat. :-)


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Old 03-21-2007, 07:42 PM   #3
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Yup, I saw it as well. This is why I prefer to cook my own stir-fry at home. I can control the salt better.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:19 PM   #4
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Ya know, I can handle all the empty calories, sodium, msg, sat and trans fats. What I can't handle is when they put the chicken head in the chicken dish. A friend of mine took me to an "authentic" Chinese restaurant in Monterey Park, CA years ago. Couldn't tell you what style of Chinese cuisine, sorry. She did all the ordering, because there was little on the menu that I recognized. So there I was enjoying the lovely aromas and couldn't wait to dig into the dish and there's a chicken head. I very nearly fainted. "It's no big deal," my friend said as she fished out the chicken head--apparently they do that with chicken dishes in these "authentic" restaurants (where's good ol' unauthentic Pick up Stix when you need 'em????).Thankfully, the beef and shrimp dishes didn't have the occupants' heads in there with them. I ate those instead.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:55 PM   #5
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haha, yeah, you have to be just a little brave to go authentic, but it's SO worth it.

one of my best girlfriends from vet school happens to be chinese, and i've been with her several times to an A++ dim sum place in houston's chinatown. as i was advising my brother when he came with me once, "if Vivian says not to eat it, don't ask why, but just don't do it." i happen to prefer chicken meat to chicken feet, but that's just my american-raised food expectations, ha. and yes, the food at that place is truly amazing, and a definite cut or 3 above regular ol' chinese takeout.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:33 PM   #6
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Food that really tastes great is high in calories and sodium content. Is this a surprise?

It supports my long-held belief that there are two mutually exclusive types of food - food that tastes good and food that's good for you.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fireweaver
haha, yeah, you have to be just a little brave to go authentic, but it's SO worth it.
OMG, fireweaver, if I'd found chicken feet (or HOOVES! ) in my food I'd have keeled over for sure!
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:22 AM   #8
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How can shrimp in garlic sauce have less calories than eggplant in garlic sauce? Plus shrimp itself has fat and cholesterol.

Call me somewhat unconvinced here.
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Old 03-22-2007, 11:36 AM   #9
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Yep, the Food Police are at it again. Unfortunately, it's assumed that, even though as adults, we can't think for ourselves. I KNEW years ago that Chinese food was high in sodium. Good grief, I could taste it. I also realized it had the potential for being calorie-laden. Buck and I only eat it (out) a couple times a year as a treat the way QSis does. Other times, like AllenOK, we prepare it at home and know what goes in it and in what quantities.

It just bunches my panties when the Food Police try to tell me what I should be doing. What's going to happen next? Are they going to review my grocery list and show up unannounced at mealtime to make sure I'm complying with all their "rules?"

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