5 Tips From A Dietitian For A Lower Sodium Meal At Chinese Restaurants
We are back with another edition of ask a Dietitian. We all do very well finding out information and doing research on our own, but it is nice to have those things we find confirmed and validated by a professional. That is why I gather questions from you in order to pose them to healthcare professionals. Hands down, the number one question I am asked is can it be possible to eat low sodium at Asian restaurants. So I am going to get 5 tips from a Dietitian for a lower sodium meal at Chinese Restaurants.
Asian restaurants have for the most part been off of the list of places where we can enjoy a meal and stay within our daily sodium requirements. From MSG, to Soy Sauce and Fried Entrees, it is really hard to even know where to begin when looking at a menu. So I asked Mary Parsons, M.S, R.D., a Culinary Dietitian with HealthyDiningFinder.com for help.
She has come up with the following 5 Tips:
Chinese food and sodium seem to go hand in hand. If you’re watching your salt and sodium intake, this may be the first kind of restaurant you cross off your list. Chinese food has long been associated with high sodium menu items and MSG. With the increased focus on nutrition, many Asian restaurants have eliminated MSG completely from their recipes and are working with nutrition experts to decrease the sodium in their meals. This is great news for everyone!
It doesn’t have to end there, though. For those of us seeking more ways to take control of sodium in our diets, these tips to lower sodium in Chinese food can help:
- Look at the nutrition information, if available, to make the best choice for your health goals. Choices that seem “low-sodium” may often not be.
- Request sauce on the side. Most of the sodium in Chinese food lurks in sauces. Requesting sauce on the side gives you the control over how much or how little you add.
- Go easy on the soy sauce (even the reduced sodium soy sauce) or skip it all together. Just a little can add hundreds of extra milligrams of sodium.
- Skip the soup. Soups are often high in sodium. Instead, choose a veggie-filled appetizer, like spring rolls, lettuce wraps, or steamed dumplings, to keep sodium down.
- Stick to steamed instead of fried choices to keep sodium levels down. Breaded and batter-fried items, in particular, are often higher in sodium. Don’t forget to specify no added salt even on the steamed choices.
Don’t give up your favorite foods; use dietitian tips like the ones above to help you them your favorites into your healthy lifestyle. These tips will help you enjoy a lower sodium meal at Chinese restaurants. Take the guesswork out of finding the best choices at restaurants with the Sodium Savvy meals featured on HealthyDiningFinder. Sodium Savvy menu choices are dietitian-recommended entrées that contain no more than 750 mg sodium and side dishes, appetizers and desserts with no more than 250 mg sodium.
So what do you think of these 5 Tips From A Dietitian For A Lower Sodium Meal At Chinese Restaurants? Let me know in the comments below.