Healthy Eating Tips

USDA Choose My PlateThe food we consume comprises varying proportions of the following food groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. The USDA recommends that you choose your food group carefully to have a balanced diet.

Components of Healthy Diet

The base of the pyramid is the "carbohydrate" component. Thus rice, pasta and cereal products should make up the bulk of our food intake. The next tier consists of "protein" products like meat, seafood and soy. Proteins should comprise a proportionately smaller component of our diets than the carbohydrates. The smallest contribution should be from the "fat" group as this is linked to the development bof obesity and heart disease. Vitamins and minerals are trace elements that are found in varying quantities in the various food substances.

Food Pyramid

More recently, healthy eating advisors advocate the minimum daily consumption of two pieces of fruit and two portions of vegetables. This is to ensure the intake of fiber is adequate for the regulation of bowel movements.

Reducing Fat Intake

Although meat products are primarily made of protein, the choice of cut can markedly affect the fat content. We can choose to reduce our fat intake by choosing lean cuts of meat and ctting off all visible fat prior to consumption. With poultry, the breast meat tends to have less fat than the thigh meat. However, the removal of the skin and visible fat allows us to continue to enjoy the thigh meat. Such small actions can have a drastic effect on our total fat intake and long-term health.

Use the Right Cooking Technique

In the same way, the way we cook the food also has marked effects on the eventual fat content. The use of deep-frying or shallow-frying techniques markedly increases the fat and calorie content compared to grilling or steaming.

I advocate the use of stir-frying with non-stick equipment (particularly frying pans and woks) and the use of minimal amounts of cooking oil.

Generally, 1 teaspoon of cooking oil is enough for each dish. Compare this with the numerous cookbooks that advocate the use of large amounts of oil to marinade the meat (to prevent sticking), followed by stir-frying with large volumes of oil or even deep-frying the meat before stir-frying!

Quality, Not Quantity, Counts

Unfortunately such practices are rife in the Chinese kitchen, resulting in most Chinese meals, particularly from restaurants, being calorie laden. I make no apologies for the small recipe base of this website, as I will only include dishes that are tasty, healthy and authentic!

Avoid Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Many Chinese restaurants (and homes) use monosodium glutamate (MSG) as a flavour enhancer. There is much evidence that MSG is bad for our health, potentially even being carcinogenic! Many people develop an MSG Syndrome after consumption of significant amounts. Symptoms include thirst, asthma attacks, depression, headaches, etc.

I never use MSG in any of my recipes. I can do this without compromising the flavour of the dish. The sauces I use are varying amounts of a standard battery, particularly light soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Alteration of he amounts of each used produces marked changes in the flavours obtained. Please feel free to experiment and alter the dishes to suit your tastebuds!

Cooking Up a Healthy Recipe

Eating healthily according to the World Health Organization guidelines is simple with the incorporation of these Healthy Chinese Recipes. I hope that you'll enjoy them and incorporate these recipes into your diet. Please feel free to drop me a line about these recipes, and if you have any recipes you'd like to suggest, please do send them to me. If suitable, they will be featured on this website.

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