Beware! Chinese food unhealthy

WASHINGTON: The average Chinese restaurant’s menu in the United States is a sea of nutritional taboos, a consumer group said.

A plate of General Tso’s chicken, for example, is loaded with about 40% more sodium, and more than half the calories, needed for an entire day.

The battered fried chicken dish with vegetables has 1,300 calories, 3,200 milligrams of sodium and 11 grams of saturated fat.

That is before the rice’s 200 calories a cup. And after the eggrolls’ 200 calories and 400 milligrams of sodium.

“I don’t want to put all the blame on Chinese food,”said Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which did a report released on Tuesday.

“Across the board, American restaurants need to cut back on calories and salt, and in the meantime, people should think of each meal as not one, but two, and bring home half for tomorrow,”Liebman said.

The average person needs around 2,000 calories a day and 2,300 milligrams of salt, about one teaspoon of salt, according to government guidelines.

In some ways, Liebman said, Italian and Mexican restaurants are worse for your health, because their food is higher in saturated fat, which can increase the risk of heart disease.

While Chinese restaurant food is bad for the waistline and blood pressure — sodium contributes to hypertension — it offers vegetable-rich dishes and the kind of fat that is not bad for your heart.

However — this is a big however — the veggies are not off the hook. A plate of stir-fried greens has 900 calories and 2,200 milligrams of sodium. And eggplant in Garlic Sauce has 1,000 calories and 2,000 milligrams of sodium. “We were shocked. We assumed the vegetables were all low in calories,”Liebman said.

Source:The Times Of India

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