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Healthier General Tso's Chicken Dish, plus Tips for Chinese Takeout

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General Tso's Chicken Dish prep video

Did you know that a bowl of General Tso’s Chicken may contain up to 1,000 calories and enough salt to cause bloating? Here’s how you can make your own healthier General Tso’s Chicken dish, plus these tips on Chinese takeout.


There’s a reason why eating Chinese takeout is so popular—it’s loaded with exotic flavors, fat and salt…and it’s convenient. However, what’s not so convenient is the resulting calorie count that can ruin your dieting efforts.

Here’s a New Take on Takeout Eating for Health that could solve this dilemma.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. According to a recent episode of NBC’s Today show, you can still enjoy some of the most popular—and indulgent—Chinese dishes with just a few tweaks in the kitchen; or, by following the excellent tips listed below the next time you order takeout.

Here’s a lesson from Today contributor Joy Bauer, author of the new cookbook, "From Junk Food to Joy Food," on how to make a healthier General Tso’s Chicken dish.

General Tso’s Chicken Cooking Video

Chinese Takeout Food Options

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To still get the taste without the calories, here are some of Ms. Bauer’s recommended options you can choose when ordering takeout:

1. First, skip the fried egg rolls dipped in duck sauce and go for steamed vegetable dumplings with a touch of reduced-sodium soy sauce. Remember, steamed beats fried any day of the week.

2. Trade in the orange (crispy) beef or sweet and sour pork with house-fried rice for beef or chicken and broccoli with brown rice. An order of beef and broccoli is at least half comprised of vegetables so you'll get plenty of nutrition and a hit of fiber (plus, you'll save up to 1,000 calories).

3. Instead of Sichuan shrimp or shrimp in garlic sauce, which clock in at 700 calories each (the equivalent of 16 fried chicken nuggets or 44 tater tots!), try shrimp with lobster sauce to cut 300 calories.

For some informative advice on smart food swaps to cut down on calories, here are a few indulgent dish alternatives that taste great.

Reference: NBC’s TodayJoy Bauer's healthier General Tso's chicken, plus tips for Chinese food takeout

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