At first glance, chinese fried rice looks healthy with its colorful veggies and chopped proteins, but upon closer look you can see it’s not as health-conscious as it appears. The dish is high in sodium, fat and calories, and if you order it from a restaurant, it can also be high in MSG. However, if you make your own fried rice at home using brown rice, plenty of vegetables and low-sodium sauces, you can enjoy this delicious dish while still sticking to your diet.
A healthy chinese fried rice contains both complex carbohydrates from the brown rice and lean proteins like egg whites and chicken, which help to keep you fuller for longer. It’s also high in fiber from the vegetables and a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, folic acid and vitamin B6. You can also add some nutrient-rich spices, such as black pepper and ginger, to give it a more authentic flavor.
While the carbs in fried rice are high, it’s important to remember that the calorie content of a meal is also determined by the amount of fat it contains. The average serving of fried rice will contain about 4 grams of fat, which is about 5 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) for adults. You can reduce the amount of fat in your fried rice by preparing it with vegetable oil rather than coconut or palm oil, and you can also use less of it when frying ingredients.
It’s not unusual for fried rice to contain more calories when it’s made in restaurants because the chefs are trying to be creative and use up leftovers. In addition, the use of lard and other fatty oils can raise the calorie count. If you do eat fried rice in a restaurant, try to avoid adding any extra sauces as they will increase the overall calories and sodium in the meal.
Cooked brown rice is a healthier choice for fried rice because it’s higher in fiber and has more nutrients than white rice. When making your fried rice at home, try to plan ahead and use cooked and chilled rice. This will prevent it from becoming soggy and sticky in the hot pan.
If you do plan to make fried rice with fresh, steamed rice, you should let it cool completely before frying. This will allow the grains to separate more easily and avoid clumping.
To make your chinese fried rice even more healthy, you can replace the veg oil with olive oil or other heart-healthy oils. You can also substitute the soy sauce for tamari or another gluten-free sauce that has lower sodium content. Then, top the fried rice with scrambled eggs, sliced green onions, cabbage and carrots for a tasty, nourishing meal. You can also add some frozen peas or red bell pepper to the mix for added crunch and color.