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akdn

Healthy eating in China

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akdn

Which commonly available dishes in China are the healthiest?

What should I be ordering? What shouldn't I be ordering??

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Quest

You can never be sure. They could put MSG in anything, even if they tell you they did not.

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Guest nuer

I usually order stirfried brocolli 西兰花 清炒 or some other vegetable dish...otherwise I just cook at home.

Don't order the eggplant - it is usually swimming in oil.

Also depends on what you consider healthy...my friend who is on the protein diet loves it here. He just orders some oily meat dish without rice whatsoever and lose weight. Lol.

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Dermot

I think it depends on whether you cook at home, go to a restaurant or order take-away meals.

In my experience, a lot of Chinese take-away food in Ireland is deep fried or stir fried. Restaurants are more likely to offer nice steamed dishes especially fish.

When I cook Chinese at home, it's usually bean curd salad or steamed dumplings. Hardly ever use a wok (but that's probably because I have an electric cooker, not a gas one!)

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PollyWaffle

Healthy eating in China, that's funny...

i never imagined any other person in the world appreciated the joys of deep fried food more than myself, until i came to china... even the breakfasts at the local market are deep fried... like mcdonalds on steroids!

want to eat healthy... buy vegies & make a salad

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PollyWaffle
a lot of Chinese take-away food in Ireland is deep fried

i'd kill for some battered mushrooms right now!

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geraldc

My grew up in China, and he's old enough to remember when they used to use a mixture of human waste, ash and water as fertilizer for the vegetables. So his fear of raw vegetables is pretty ingrained. He'll eat anything thats been washed, peeled and cooked, as he knows that any germs and bacteria will be killed, but he still regards anyone who eats raw vegetables in China as someone with a deathwish.

However in the UK he has a real problem eating in western restaurants, as things like serving lamb and beef rare are totally alien to him. It's taken him 30 years to get used to being given a glass of cold water instead of boiling water with his meal.

The healthiest way to eat in China, is eat what the locals do. It's safer.

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PollyWaffle
but he still regards anyone who eats raw vegetables in China as someone with a deathwish.

i have eaten raw, unwashed vegetables in china about 30-40 times & never gotten sick... i am just not used to washing everything & drinking hot water...

in fact, the only time i have had food poisoning (touch wood) was from eating at a japanese restaurant.... so, yeah, eat what the locals eat is a good idea...

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count_zero

I'm going through a healthy eating phase at the moment which, for me, involves avoided meat and oil. I like baicaidoufutang (cabbage and tofu soup) with no msn (buyao weijing, xiela!) and a bowl of rice. Steamed fish is good, Japanese restaurants seem to serve pretty healthy food. Donggua (winter melon) is regarded as a detoxifier by the Chinese. And I got a rousi (meat strips) with qingcai (celery {I think}) dish a while ago by asking for a non-spicy meat dish (wo buyao lade) which seemed pretty healthy and bland. Lemon or orange flavour lotus strips are crisp and healthy (ningmeng oupian{I think}), dishes with scrambled egg (chaojidan) are pretty good, right?

You don't have to cook at home but some of the fresh veg, non fried, non spicy dishes are a little bit more obscure and you will have to keep your eyes peeled.

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madizi

In Taiwan, all street food is normally too fat (they put too much oil), so it is wise to drink lemonade, wine or other sour drink.

And when in China, I try to avoid weijing, but sometimes it isn't possible at all. :(

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PollyWaffle

i know MSG is bad for certain people predisposed to an allergic reaction but is MSG unhealthy per se? if so, why?

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madizi

I've heard that it is bad for stomach.

Sometimes, when there is too much weijing in food, my stomach doesn't feel all right. :(

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Claw

I don't think MSG is necessarily bad for you. Plenty of foods naturally contain MSG. Despite what people say, there have been no scientific studies showing that MSG is harmful. However, too many Chinese restaurants put more MSG than they really need to in the food (in an attempt to be fast, cooks will just dip a whole ladle into the MSG bucket rather than measuring just a little bit), and too much of anything is usually not that good.

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Ian_Lee

Actually Chinese diet is one of the healthiest diets in the world. It is more healthy than American, French, Northern Italian and Mexican:

http://www.pdrhealth.com/content/nutrition_health/chapters/fgnt33.shtml

I think MSG does not do your health any harm except lingering thirst. But some are allergic to it.

But Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese restaurants use as much MSG as Chinese restaurants do, if not more.

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gato

The sodium in MSG, like that in salt, can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension). Some of us with a genetic disposition towards hypertension should learn to like more bland food, unfortunately.

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madizi

But it seems that I'm not the only one to have problems with it. Some of my friends have also had complaints against MSG, saying that they don't feel right after eating food which has too many of it........ :-?

It seems that we, Slovenians have different genetic structure :wink::wink::wink:

:mrgreen:

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geraldc

I never really gave it much thought, but I guess genetics does play a role in what you can and can't eat safely. If I really really go overboard when eating in some Chinese restaurants eg dim sum, I occassionally get a minor MSG headache, but as side effects go it's nothing as to what happens to my stomach when I drink a glass of milk.

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