The Chinese food calorie bomb

One of the reasons nutritionists like me recommend that our clients limit the take aways is that restaurants know what we like – lots of fat and lots of sugar. To encourage repeat business, foods ordered in restaurants often contain far more fat, salt, and sugar than you would ever add if you made the dish yourself. A good example of this is the absolute calorie bomb that was a Chinese take away meal I had on Friday night.

Up until dinner time I was having a decent diet day. Plenty of fruit, vegetables and fibre, some oily fish and post workout protein. After my 5pm meal, I was at 1400 kcal for the day, leaving a good 500kcal for dinner. Then my husband and I decided we were both too tired to cook and to treat ourselves to a Chinese take away. And that meal came in at an impressive 1535 kcal, 23g of sugar and over 91g of fat!

I was prepared for the meal to be 800 or 900 kcal but I admit I was really taken aback at just how high the calorie and fat content was when I did the calculations. While I ate more than I normally would have, I wouldn’t say I massively overate. I had close to same amount of rice as I would normally, and felt I could easily have had seconds. Digging deeper, one of the biggest culprits was the prawn crackers which I continued to snack on all evening – they had over 500kcal and 43g of fat on their own.

Generally ethnic foods are great healthy options. Many traditional Asian, Mexican or African dishes contain more vegetables, pulses and lean meats than classic British food. And without the cheese and cream sauces favoured by French and Italian chefs, they tend to be lower in fat too. Unfortunately, when the first ethnic restaurants opened in the West, they quickly realized that they had to adapt their offering to the British palate to attract customers. The result is the food served in your typical Chinese restaurant may be very different from the food you might find in China. I’m sure a version of sweet and sour pork exists, but I doubt it comes in the same neon orange sauce and has the same amount of fat as the deep fried version I had on Friday.

Clearly my favourite Chinese needs to be a very occasional treat if I’m to drop some body fat and keep it off!

The Score for 10 March:

Calories: Protein: Carbs: Sugars: Fat: Sat Fat: Fibre:  
2968 129.92g 284.79g 80.58g 141.45g 29.00g 27.60g
18% 39% 43%
Calories burned through exercise: 346

 

What I ate:

Time Item Amount Calories Protein Carbs Sugars Fibre Fat Sat Fat Alcohol
08:00 Centrum Multivitamin,  Vitamin E 400IU, Vitamin D 25 µg
Tap water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Soft boiled eggs, 2 large 125g 163 15.75 0.00 0.00 0.00 11.25 3.13 0.00
Free From pure oats 50g 171 6.40 30.30 0.60 4.30 2.70 0.50 0.00
made with boiling water 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Tesco mixed frozen fruits 100g 40 0.90 7.90 7.90 2.00 0.20 0.00 0.00
Ground flaxseeds 10g 45 2.21 0.30 0.18 2.37 4.00 0.45 0.00
Black Tea 450mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
10:00 Twinnings cherry and cinnamon tea 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
12:15 Grilled mackerel fillet, skin removed 78g 202 16.54 0.47 0.47 0.00 14.90 3.35 0.00
Brown basmati rice 130g 150 3.75 30.83 0.51 1.44 1.23 0.29 0.00
Kikkoman Tamari gluten free soy sauce 7g 4 0.70 0.14 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Broccoli, microwaved 77g 30 3.31 2.46 1.46 1.93 0.46 0.15 0.00
Cauliflower, microwaved 84g 29 2.10 3.70 2.44 1.51 0.34 0.00 0.00
Honeydew melon, peeled and sliced 198g 40 1.20 8.40 8.40 2.00 0.20 0.00 0.00
Green tea 250mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
15:00 Gym Session
17:00 MaxiNutrition Lean protein powder, chocolate 40g 140 20.00 13.00 12.00 0.00 0.90 0.30 0.00
in water 275mL 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Yeo Valley natural yoghurt 150g 123 7.65 8.40 8.40 0.00 6.75 4.35 0.00
Natures Path Mesa Sunrise cereal 50g 195 5.00 40.00 6.50 5.00 1.65 0.25 0.00
Sliced nectarine 93g 41 1.30 8.37 8.37 1.12 0.09 0.00 0.00
Sunflower seeds 5g 30 1.04 0.57 0.13 0.43 2.58 0.23 0.00
Pumpkin seeds 5g 30 1.51 0.54 0.07 0.30 2.46 0.44 0.00
20:30 Crispy seaweed (shredded fried cabbage) 29g 17 0.29 0.38 0.38 0.41 1.51 0.20 0.00
Sweet and sour pork 137g 334 10.69 29.04 15.48 1.64 19.04 3.15 0.00
Duck in a ginger and pineapple sauce 105g 328 14.60 6.72 5.04 0.32 26.78 7.98 0.00
Szechuan chicken 26g 67 8.27 0.66 0.39 0.39 2.36 0.13 0.00
Egg fried rice 150g 286 6.45 45.45 0.00 1.65 7.35 0.90 0.00
Prawn crackers 89g 503 0.27 47.17 1.87 0.80 34.71 3.20 0.00

Image Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_fotek’>fotek / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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