Does Chinese Food Have a Lot of Calories? 3 Healthier Options Available That You Can Enjoy Guilt-Free

Does Chinese food have a lot of calories? Hey there!

As a chef and a journalist, we know that one of the most common questions we get asked is whether Chinese food has a lot of calories.

We understand that it can be challenging to keep track of your calories when dining out, especially when it comes to Chinese cuisine, which is known for its bold and flavorful dishes.

We created this content primarily to help you make better choices when eating Chinese food and stay on track with your health goals.

So, let’s dive in and find out the answer to the question, “does Chinese food have a lot of calories?”

does chinese food have a lot of calories

Does Chinese Food Have a Lot of Calories?

Main Ingredients to Focus On

We’ve learned that when it comes to Chinese cuisine, the main ingredients you focus on can make a big difference in the calorie count of your meal.

Let’s take a closer look at which ingredients to prioritize to make your Chinese food healthier and lower in calories.

First and foremost, you want to focus on dishes with lean protein like chicken, shrimp, tofu, and fish.

These options are lower in calories and higher in protein, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Plus, they’re a healthier alternative to dishes with fatty meats like beef and pork.

Next, let’s talk about veggies.

We all know that veggies are good for us, but did you know that they can also help keep the calorie count of your Chinese food in check?

Vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and snow peas are low in calories and high in fiber, making them the perfect addition to any dish.

Another ingredient to focus on is rice.

While it’s a staple in many Chinese dishes, it’s important to keep in mind that rice is high in calories and carbs.

To keep your meal healthier, opt for brown rice instead of white rice.

Brown rice is a healthier alternative that is lower in calories and higher in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Choosing Healthier Sauces

When it comes to Chinese food, sauces are a big part of what makes the dishes so delicious.

However, not all sauces are created equal when it comes to nutrition.

Some sauces can be high in sugar and fat, which can add up quickly if you’re not careful.

So, how do you choose healthier sauces?

First, it’s important to know what to avoid.

Sweet and sour sauce, hoisin sauce, and duck sauce are typically high in sugar and calories.

Oyster sauce, while not as high in sugar, is often high in sodium.

General Tso’s sauce is also high in sugar and calories, so it’s best to use it sparingly.

Instead, try opting for sauces that are lower in sugar and fat.

Soy sauce, for example, is a good option as it is lower in calories and fat than many other sauces.

Other options include black bean sauce, chili sauce, and ginger sauce.

These sauces can add flavor to your dishes without adding a lot of calories.

One thing to keep in mind is that even healthier sauces should be used in moderation.

While they may be lower in calories and fat, they can still add up if you use too much.

So, be mindful of how much sauce you’re using and consider using less or even skipping it altogether if you’re trying to cut back on calories.

Healthier cooking methods

When it comes to making Chinese food at home, choosing the right cooking method can make a big difference in the nutritional value of the dish.

As a chef, I know firsthand that the cooking method can affect the amount of calories, fat, and sodium in a dish.

By choosing healthier cooking methods, you can create a delicious meal that is also good for you.

Steaming is a great option for cooking Chinese dishes.

It’s a simple cooking method that preserves the natural flavors and nutrients of the ingredients.

Steaming also requires minimal oil, making it a low-fat cooking method.

Another healthy cooking method is stir-frying.

This method requires less oil than deep-frying and helps retain the natural flavors of the ingredients.

However, it’s important to be mindful of the amount of oil used when stir-frying, as too much oil can increase the fat content of the dish.

Boiling is another healthy option for cooking Chinese food.

By boiling the ingredients, you can remove excess fat and sodium from the dish.

Additionally, boiling can help bring out the natural flavors of the ingredients.

It’s important to note that boiling can also remove some of the nutrients from the ingredients, so it’s best to cook the ingredients just until they’re tender.


In conclusion, we hope that we’ve answered your burning question about whether Chinese food has a lot of calories.

While it’s true that some dishes can be higher in calories, there are plenty of healthier options available that you can enjoy guilt-free.

By choosing dishes with steamed veggies, lean protein, and avoiding the heavy sauces, you can savor the bold flavors of Chinese cuisine without sacrificing your health.

Remember, it’s all about balance and making smart choices.

So, next time you’re at a Chinese restaurant, go ahead and indulge in your favorite dishes, but make sure to keep an eye on your portions and choose wisely.

Bon appétit!

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