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Lola's Tips for Heart Healthy Chinese Food

Download Lola's Tips for Heart Healthy Chinese Food pdf document (228k) handout.

Here are Lola Idad’s tips for lowering fat and calories when you order food from a Chinese carryout restaurant.

Choose More Often

  • Steamed or grilled dishes, such as steamed dumplings or grilled fish, instead of fried dishes.
  • More vegetable dishes or dishes that have large amounts of vegetables, such as beef with broccoli.
  • Steamed rice instead of fried rice. (Steamed rice is lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories.)

Choose More Often

  • Deep-fried dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Mu Shu Pork, or fried egg rolls.
  • Fried rice.
  • Dishes with heavy sauces, such as coconut milk.


  • Let the restaurant know your dietary needs, so they can suggest ways to meet your needs, if possible.
  • On the day you are planning to order Chinese food, eat foods with less sodium in your other meals and snacks. Many dishes from Chinese restaurants are very high in sodium.
  • You can cut down on the sodium in the Chinese food you order. Make sure the restaurant does not use monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the dishes. MSG is high in sodium!
  • You can also cut down on sodium by using light soy sauce to season the food.
  • Instead of buffets, order healthy choices from the menu.

Source: Adapted from Asian Health Services,

Read the "Lola's Tips for Heart Healthy Chinese Food" handout in Tagalog.

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Healthy Heart, Healthy Family: A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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