Is chow mein good for weight loss? Chow mein is a typical Chinese dish that consists of stir-fried noodles and vegetables, usually served with some sauce.
It was brought to China by the Fujianese immigrants in the 18th century and has further spread all over Southeast Asia and other parts of the world by countries like India, Australia, UK and US.
Chow mein is made with rice noodles, vegetables like cabbage, carrots, onions, and celery marinated in soy sauce or sesame oil. Chow mein is tasty, but it’s also high in calories.
A regular serving of chow mein can contain up to 550 calories! If you’re watching your weight, chow mein is not the best option for you.
To lose weight, it’s better to avoid fried foods and sauces with lots of ingredients like salt, sugar or oil. Instead, try steaming chow mein noodles at least once in a while. This way, you won’t miss out on the great taste of this dish!
What Is Chow Mein?
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Chow mein is a Chinese dish consisting of thin slices of dough, fried until crispy and then mixed with vegetables or meat. A variation, lo mein, skip the frying process by simply cooking noodles in hot soy sauce before adding vegetables.
The basic ingredients are eggs, flour, salt, water, sesame oil and soy sauce. Vegetables like carrots, onions, and cabbage are also commonly added.
Is chow mein good for weight loss?
Chow Mein is usually made with soy sauce or sesame oil, which are high in fat. A regular serving of chow mein can contain up to 550 calories!
There are ways you can still enjoy this dish if you’re watching your weight, though! You can steam instead of frying the noodles for a healthier version.
This way, you can still enjoy a plate of chow mein without feeling guilty!
5 Best health benefits of chow mein
1. It’s high in protein, so it keeps you satiated for long without increasing your calorie intake.
2. Vitamin A and C from vegetables help protect your skin from breakouts and blemishes.
3. Carbohydrates from noodles give you the energy to last through the day.
4. Chow mein is a great source of iron that helps fight anaemia, fatigue and lethargy.
5. Choline in soy sauce keeps the liver healthy and lowers the risk of cancer and tumours.
Side effects of chow mein
If you’re watching your weight, it’s better to avoid fried foods and sauces with lots of ingredients like salt, sugar or oil. Chow mein is high in sodium content which can lead to bloating and water retention.
Another thing to take care of while ordering a chow mein in a restaurant is that cornstarch or flour is usually added for texture and thickness.
1. Sodium content:
Sodium in excess can lead to water retention and bloating, which makes you look thick and puts extra pressure on your heart. Chow mein uses soy sauce as the main ingredient, so it’s quite high in sodium.
The recommended daily intake for this mineral is 1500 mg, but chow mein can contain up to 4500 mg of sodium, which is way more than recommended.
On top of that, chow mein noodles are usually fried before being added to vegetables, meat or sauce. This further increases the sodium content.
The most common way to make chow mein is by deep frying it in oil or butter. This can lead to the formation of carcinogens like acrylamide, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are bad for your health if consumed in excess.
Soy sauce contains high levels of sodium which can lead to problems like hypertension, heart stroke or kidney failure if consumed in excess.
Also, soy is one of the major ingredients that are known to cause allergies in people so it’s better to take care when consuming chow mein whether you’re allergic to soy or not.
4. Unhealthy cooking methods:
Chow mein is usually prepared in unhealthy ways like deep frying and adding lots of oil, making it high in calories and low on nutrition.
Instead, try steaming chow mein noodles at least once in a while next time you order it from the restaurant. It will make it a healthier option for you to enjoy.
Monosodium glutamate or MSG is another commonly used ingredient in chow mein, which increases your risk of health problems like headache, asthma, skin irritation and vomiting in people who are allergic to it.
If you’re not sure about its effects on your body, it’s better to avoid chow mein when you’re eating out.
The Bottom Line
Chow Mein is low in fat but high in sodium and maybe unhealthy if you consume it regularly. So, this dish can be enjoyed occasionally without any guilt.
To make chow mein healthier, avoiding deep frying the noodles is a good option and steaming them instead of adding sauce to it. This way, you can enjoy your noodles without any guilt!
I hope you enjoy your plate of chow mein without any guilt the next time you order it from a restaurant!
Dr. Aditya Gupta is a highly accomplished Indian doctor with extensive experience in the field of neurology. Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Dr. Gupta completed his medical degree from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), followed by his postgraduate studies in neurology from the same institution.