What Chinese food is low in sodium? Steamed vegetables, brown rice, and poached chicken are some immediate answers.
But did you know that tofu, yams, and edamame can also make wonderfully light Chinese meals?
You’re right to be concerned about salt – too much can raise blood pressure and risk for heart issues.
Unfortunately, salt is common in popular Chinese meals. However, you don’t need to give up flavor or the foods you love.
With some simple changes, you can still savor all your favorite Chinese flavors. I’ll share my tricks for making Chinese cuisine part of a balanced diet.
By focusing on fresh, whole ingredients, you’ll feel great after every meal. Keep reading to discover how!
It’s easier than you think to love your health and your food.
What Chinese food is low in Sodium?
Some dishes that are typically lower in sodium (1) include steamed dumplings, stir-fried veggies, hot and sour soup, and moo goo gai pan.
More about Chinese Dishes
Is Kung Pao Chicken Low In Sodium?
Have you ever wondered how dishes from Chinese cuisine, like Kung Pao Chicken, affect your heart health?
As someone who enjoys cooking and eating Chinese food, I know firsthand that many classic recipes can be high in sodium content.
Too much sodium isn’t good for anyone who wants to keep their blood pressure in a healthy range.
Luckily, there are steps we can all take to make our favorite Chinese meals a bit better for us.
When I go out to eat Chinese, I always ask if they have lower sodium options. Dishes like beef and broccoli or stir-fried vegetables with garlic sauce are still super tasty.
They help satisfy my craving without overdoing it on salt.
If cooking at home is more your speed, don’t be afraid to tweak recipes a bit.
I used to use regular soy sauce in everything until my registered dietitian told me about reduced sodium varieties.
Now I reach for the lower sodium soy sauce and feel good that I’m being good to my heart. Prepared sauces and marinades can also sneak lots of sodium into dishes.
Making condiments from scratch is the way to go.
Fried rice and lo mein turn out just as delicious when I replace store bought with fresh veggies and herbs.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy traditional Chinese dishes like Moo Goo Gai Pan on special occasions.
The American Heart Association says adults should aim for less than 2,300mg of sodium per day. (2)
By choosing mostly low sodium Chinese meals and watching portion sizes, I feel comfortable indulging in full sodium recipes once in a while.
It’s all about balance. With a little thought put into ingredients and cooking methods, you’d be surprised how heart healthy classic Chinese food can be.
Even brown rice instead of white rice is an easy swap anyone can make.
Let me know if you need any Chinese cooking tips – I’d be happy to share my favorite low sodium recipes!
What Chinese Food High In Sodium
Growing up, Chinese food was one of my favorite cuisines. As someone who enjoys cooking, I wanted to learn more about making healthier choices.
Many popular dishes can be high in sodium, which as we know isn’t great for the heart.
Lo mein, chow mein and stir fries are some examples.
All that soy sauce adds up fast! Egg rolls and other deep fried treats soak up oil.
When ordering out, I aim for steamed dumplings or beef and broccoli – delicious without being too salty. Even stir fried snow peas or broccoli hit the spot.
Condiments were an eye opener too.
Garlic sauce from the local Chinese restaurant has a whopping 380mg of sodium in just one serving! Now I always ask for it on the side or make my own at home.
A study published in 2023 analyzed consumer comments extracted from 718 restaurants on a Chinese MDA called ELEME for orders made in the July-December 2020 timeframe.
The study found that the median sodium content of dishes ordered from Chinese cuisine restaurants was generally higher than that ordered from restaurants specializing in other types of cuisine, regardless of whether the dishes were ordered as regular salt or reduced salt (3).
Whether dining in or getting takeout, I watch my portions. It’s easy to go over recommended limits without realizing.
The CDC says less than 2,300mg daily for most adults. I strive for whole grains like brown rice versus the white stuff too.
These small healthy eating swaps add up. When a craving strikes, I check the sodium on menu items before ordering.
Black bean sauce and soy sauce substitutes help satisfy without sabotaging my goals.
You can try making your own sauce at home, or using just a little bit of the sauce at the restaurant.
With a little planning, Chinese favorites can definitely fit a low sodium lifestyle.
Do You Cook? Discover the Must-Have Low-Sodium Ingredients and Cookbook.
Did you know that the average Chinese dish contains over 1000mg of sodium, almost half of the recommended daily intake? (4)
But here’s a secret: with the right low-sodium ingredients, you can enjoy the same flavorful dishes with a fraction of the sodium.
For years, I’ve loved cooking and eating Chinese food.
But as someone concerned with heart health, the high sodium levels had me worried.
Did you know just one dish could contain over half your daily sodium? Yikes!
I wanted the flavor without harming myself.
Through trial and error, I found some low sodium swaps that really work.
|Brown Rice||Low-sodium. A healthier, fiber-rich alternative to white rice with a satisfying nutty taste and chewy texture. Available at grocery stores or online.|
|Soy Sauce||Low-sodium. Retains the traditional savory flavor of regular soy sauce, but with significantly less sodium. A must-have for any Chinese cuisine.|
|Keto Chinese Book||An ideal source for low-carb keto diet, low-sodium Chinese recipes. Perfect for maintaining a healthy lifestyle or following a keto diet.|
|Sesame Oil||Low-sodium. This oil keeps the distinctive nutty flavor of sesame oil but with reduced sodium. A flavorful and healthier option for Chinese cooking.|
|Tofu||Low-sodium. A versatile, protein-packed ingredient that’s low in sodium. Ideal for stir-fries, soups, and more.|
Brown rice satisfies my cravings while being easier on my heart. Tofu is packed with protein too. Even something like sesame oil keeps taste when using the low sodium kind.
Another great find was soy sauce alternatives.
I was shocked how similar they are to the regular stuff. Just a splash adds that signature savory tang without sodium overload. It’s taught me you don’t need loads to enhance flavor.
A true godsend though was this amazing keto Chinese cookbook.
Filled with recipes for stir fries, soups and more – all using my new healthy ingredients.
Best of all, they’re just as delicious as the dishes I grew up with. I’m sharing it with all my friends concerned with heart disease risks.
With a little patience, you can absolutely keep your love of traditional Chinese cuisine while staying healthy.
Feel free to ask me about book recommendations, low sodium substitutes or any other tips.
I’m always happy to spread the word on easy ways to takeout options without jeopardizing well-being. Good eats and good health – it is possible!
We promise, it’s ‘soy’ amazing, you’ll ‘wonton’ more!
Can Garlic Sauce Be Part Of Less Sodium Chinese Meal?
As someone passionate about cooking, friends often ask me about enjoying Chinese food while still keeping things healthy.
One topic that comes up a lot is garlic sauce. On the surface, it seems like an easy yes – but there’s more to it than that.
While garlic has few calories, store-bought garlic sauces are usually made with soy sauce, which is remarkably high in sodium.
A single tablespoon can set you back over 500mg! Considering the daily limit is less than 2,300mg, that’s a lot.
Here’s the good news – all hope is not lost. There are definitely ways to work garlic sauce into a low-sodium meal.
My go-to is using a low sodium soy sauce instead. The flavor is virtually the same but much better for my heart.
Other tips include asking the chef to prepare food without adding any extra salt. This allows full control over sodium levels.
Opting for steamed veggies and brown rice in place of fried dishes also cuts back.
Extra protein from tofu or shrimp satisfies without extra salt. Always be mindful of menu nutrition too before diving in.
With some simple adjustments, meals like oyster sauce chicken can definitely fit into a low sodium lifestyle.
In the end, creativity and moderation are key to enjoying what you love, like Chinese, while maintaining good health.
I’m happy to share more low-sodium swaps – just let me know!
What Are Some Less Sodium Beef And Broccoli Recipes?
As an avid home cook, I’m always looking for healthy yet delicious meal ideas.
One favorite is beef and broccoli, though the sodium can add up quickly between the beef, sauce and rice.
Here are some tweaks I’ve tested that shave off salt without sacrificing flavor.
Lean cuts like sirloin or round have less sodium than fattier choices. Marinating in low-sodium soy sauce, minced garlic and grated ginger lightly flavors the meat.
Broccoli gets a quick steam to maintain crunch. Homemade sauce keeps sodium in check – low-sodium chicken broth mixed with cornstarch and honey make it sweet yet savory.
Pre-prepping veggies and meat lets everything come together fast.
I prep broccoli florets, beef strips and sauce ingredients in meal sized batches to freeze.
Come dinner, a stir fry takes minutes to assemble straight from freezer to skillet. No last minute salt needed!
Steamed rice instead of fried is an easy switch. For texture, sometimes I add water chestnuts or bamboo shoots.
Their crunch provides satisfaction similar to other ingredients higher in sodium.
With small adjustments, favorite dishes stay enjoyable while supporting heart health.
So why not give it a try today and share your low sodium Chinese food recipes with others?
How To Enjoy Chop Suey Without Consuming Too Much Sodium
Chop suey is a favorite, but it can pack over a day’s worth of sodium if you’re not careful. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Restaurant versions rely heavily on soy sauce to add flavor, but one tablespoon contains over 500mg sodium!
Now I always request the lower sodium alternative. It tastes nearly the same but is much better for my heart.
Preparing chop suey at home allows full control too. Instead of packets, I season with fresh ginger and garlic.
And frankly, veggies like bell peppers and broccoli are tastier than the canned varieties used by some chains.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends under 2,300mg daily sodium intake.
By halving amounts of condiments and opting for fresh ingredients whenever possible, I can spend less than 600mg on this dish.
Portion control is key too to avoid overdoing it.
And if you want to be extra healthy, use brown rice instead of white rice.
It’s better for you and has less salt.
So, go ahead and enjoy your chop suey! Just remember to make some simple changes to keep your body happy and healthy!
Is Egg Drop Soup A Good Low Sodium Option?
A favorite is egg drop soup – packed with nutrients but kind to the heart.
Egg drop soup relies on just a few simple ingredients – chicken broth, egg, ginger and green onions.
Store-bought broths can have over 1000mg sodium per cup, more than half the recommended daily intake!
Now I make my own broth using minimal added salt.
Eggs boast quality lean protein and dietary fiber to fill me up without weighing down.
Just a few pieces of steamed tofu or greens like bok choy boost the nutrition.
When eating out, I ask that meals like fried rice be swapped for broth-based soups.
Making smart substitutions safely allows favorite dishes.
Portion control is key too. One bowl of soup and modest side dishes like steamed greens keep calories modest.
With some small adjustments, indulgence and health easily coexist.
Here are the brown rice and ingredients that I recommend.
What Are Common Chinese Foods High In Sodium To Avoid?
Many classic dishes can sneak in salt without notice. Doing some research opened my eyes to certain ingredients best enjoyed only occasionally.
For example, commercial soy and teriyaki sauces tend to pack over 500mg per tablespoon.
I check the back of snow peas cans too – some surprisingly have over 600mg per half cup!
Switching to low-sodium soy sauce or making dishes from whole foods manages sodium better.
Even menu items like lo mein and fried rice seem wholesome but rely heavily on Those sauces for flavor.
Opting for steaming proteins like chicken and tofu instead lets natural tastes shine through. Bamboo shoots add crunch without sodium.
With small adjustments, moderation on high sodium dishes fits into heart-healthy routines. Now I add beans, mushrooms and other veggies for nutrition too.
Though tough to give up favorites, learning these tips freed me to still enjoy Chinese cuisine long term.
Healthy changes don’t require deprivation when done gradually.
How To Make Low Sodium Moo Goo Gai Pan At Home
One of our favorites is moo goo gai pan, though typical versions can be high in salt content. Some simple tweaks make this dish just as flavorful yet easier on our health.
Instead of jarred stocks, I use low-sodium chicken broth as a base. Its natural savory taste satisfies without extra sodium.
When browning meat, a small amount of hoisin sauce and water adds warmth; its bold flavor means less is needed.
My fresh technique also cuts back. I swap store-bought bean sprouts for homemade using dried black beans, rice vinegar and small dice mushrooms for texture. Garlic and ginger enhance naturally.
Portion control matters too. One serving per person keeps calories modest.
I serve steaming brown rice for fiber, along with steamed greens, to feel fully satisfied. Overall sodium comes in under 1000mg per plate.
Pair it with lean protein like chicken or low sodium tofu for a satisfying meal.
More on how healthy Chinese food is.
While certain Chinese foods may be high in salt, there are still plenty of options for those watching their sodium intake.
With some adjustments, you can keep enjoying flavors from this cuisine while prioritizing heart health.
Remember, choosing low sodium options doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. Check out my recommended low-sodium ingredients above.
As an avid home cook focused on nutrition, I’ve found simple changes transform favorites into wholesome meals.
Requesting sauces and preparation without added salt allows full control. Low-sodium ingredients like those mentioned earlier satisfy without compromise.
Don’t be afraid to tweak traditional recipes or sample new coaching methods. Variety adds fun while keeping tastebuds excited.
With exploration comes incredible dishes discovered, heightening each experience. Imagination molds infinite possibilities from basics on hand.
Remember, small adjustments compound into big results over time.
Even modest efforts deserve praise for supporting wellness goals gradually. Life grants few shortcuts – sustained, mindful choices propel us forward.
So embark confidently on this lifestyle Improving health need not mean severe deprivation or restriction.
With care and creativity, treasured foods freely fit into balanced routines. Your body and spirit thank the care shown them each day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I still enjoy Chinese food if I need to follow a low sodium diet?
One of the best ways to enjoy Chinese food while staying low sodium is to focus on dishes that are made with fresh vegetables and lean proteins.
Steamed dumplings, for example, can be a great option since they are typically low in sodium and packed with healthy veggies.
Stir-fried vegetables are another great option, as they allow you to enjoy all the flavors and textures of your favorite veggies without the need for heavy sauces or seasonings.
When it comes to soups, hot and sour soup can be a great choice as it is typically lower in sodium than other soup options.
Moo goo gai pan is another great option, as the dish is typically made with fresh veggies and lean chicken, and can be customized to fit your low-sodium needs.
To make sure your Chinese food is as low in sodium as possible, it’s important to ask your server for low-sodium options and to watch out for sauces and seasonings that may contain high levels of sodium.
You can also try making your Chinese food at home, using fresh ingredients and low-sodium seasonings.
With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy all the delicious flavors of Chinese food while still sticking to your low-sodium diet.
So go ahead and indulge your cravings – your taste buds will thank you!
Should I avoid all Chinese food if I want to reduce my sodium intake?
If you’re looking to reduce your sodium intake, you may be wondering if you should avoid all Chinese food.
The short answer is no, not all Chinese food is high in sodium.
While some dishes may be high in salt, others can be lower in sodium and still delicious.
One way to reduce your sodium intake when eating Chinese food is to choose steamed dishes instead of fried ones.
Steaming is a cooking method that doesn’t require added oils or salt, so it’s a healthier choice.
You can also ask for sauce on the side, so you can control how much you use.
Many Chinese dishes are served with salty sauces, so this can be a great way to reduce your sodium intake.
Another tip is to choose dishes with fresh vegetables and lean proteins, such as chicken or fish.
These dishes tend to be lower in sodium than dishes made with processed meats, like bacon or sausage.
You can also ask for dishes to be made with less soy sauce or salt, or ask for low-sodium soy sauce if it’s available.
In conclusion, you don’t have to avoid all Chinese food if you’re looking to reduce your sodium intake.
With some simple tips and tricks, you can still enjoy delicious Chinese dishes while keeping your sodium intake in check.
Just remember to choose steamed dishes, ask for sauce on the side, and choose dishes with fresh vegetables and lean proteins.
Are there any tips for making my favorite Chinese dishes lower in sodium?
If you’re looking to cut back on sodium in your favorite Chinese dishes, there are a few tips and tricks you can try.
First, consider using low-sodium soy sauce in place of regular soy sauce.
This will help reduce the overall sodium content of your dish without sacrificing flavor.
You can also try using other herbs and spices to add flavor, such as ginger, garlic, and green onion.
Another way to reduce sodium in your Chinese dishes is to use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
This will help reduce the amount of sodium that is added to your dish during the cooking process.
Try to choose fresh vegetables and meats over canned or processed options.
You can also rinse canned beans or vegetables to further reduce sodium content.
Finally, you can also reduce sodium in your Chinese dishes by controlling portion sizes.
Eating smaller portions of your favorite dishes can help reduce your overall sodium intake.
You can also try making your Chinese dishes at home so you can control the amount of salt that goes into your food.
Use small amounts of salt and soy sauce as you cook and then add more if needed at the end.
Overall, reducing sodium in your favorite Chinese dishes is all about making small changes to your cooking habits.
By using low-sodium soy sauce, fresh ingredients, and controlling portion sizes, you can still enjoy your favorite Chinese dishes without sacrificing flavor or health.
Browse through my top picks of low-sodium ingredients listed in this article below. They’re strike the perfect balance between health and flavor and healthy. Guaranteed to keep your meals tasty.
I am a skilled chef assistant with a passion for Asian cuisine, I have honed my craft through formal training at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy and years of experience in the culinary industry. I have extensive knowledge of cooking techniques and herbs and spices, with a particular focus on traditional Chinese dishes. I’m also an author of the book “Delicious Keto Low Carb Chinese Food for Busy Moms and Fitness Enthusiasts” which is sold on Amazon. On my blog, bowlakechinese.com, I share my expertise in Asian cuisine and provide tips and recipes for those interested in low carb Chinese cuisine.