Never order these foods

Chinese food is one of the most popular fast(ish) food options in the world. With a menu including a wide range of foods from all parts of the country (and the animal), it’s cheap, delicious and can be healthy – except for those items on the menu that are risky at best and probably should stay on the menu.

Fried rice
It’s quite possibly the most popular dish on the menu, and it may also be the least healthy. Fried rice is, as the name suggests: fried. It’s most often made with white rice, which already has the least nutritional value of all rices, but once it’s soaked up all the oil in the wok, you have an oily, starchy dish that, although tasty, is super high on the calorie count.

Sweet and sour chicken or pork
A normal portion of sweet and sour chicken can contain over 1700 calories and 130 per cent of your daily recommended fat, while a serve of sweet and sour pork can contain up to 16 teaspoons of sugar and 88g of fat. Add the side of fried rice and you have yourself a recipe for diabetes and obesity.

Barbecue spare ribs
While some barbecue spare ribs are not so unhealthy (who are we kidding?), at Chinese restaurants, they’re coated in a salty, sweet barbecue sauce that contains around 65g of fat and about 1.5 times the daily recommended intake of sodium. Oh, and more sugar than a can of soft drink.

Lemon chicken
Lemon chicken may sound a little healthier than many of the options on the menu, but the bottom line is that the average serve has 1500 calories and 75g of fat, it’s fried in oil, full of sugar and sodium; and no amount of lemon will add to its nutritional value.

Prawn crackers
Those plastic bags packed with pretty pink prawn crackers will be the death of me, and after learning about the contents, maybe sooner rather than later. Made with tapioca, flour, prawns and water, one cup of these tasty appetisers contains over 200 calories, 550mg of sodium and 32mg of cholesterol.

So what can you eat? Well, vegetable dumplings, wonton, egg drop and hot and sour soup, stir fries, kung pao chicken, Ma-Po tofu, and chop suey are all much healthier alternatives and they’re still super tasty, too!

Read more at WebMD.

What’s your favourite Chinese food?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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