Is Chinese Food Healthy? What are the Best Healthy Chinese Food Options?

When did you eat Chinese food last time? Yesterday? But when did you eat healthy Chinese food? That probably takes a little more time for you to answer.

China has been blessed with various yummy food for the last 2000 years! However, is all Chinese food healthy? Well, nothing is absolute, despite that Chinese cuisine is widely acknowledged to be healthier than most cuisines in the world. 

Healthy Chinese food

Finding the healthiest Chinese food isn’t hard, we’ve rounded up 17 best healthy Chinese food options for you. We even list the healthy Chinese food for diabetics. No matter where you are, enjoy authentic food tours in China or a city in US, you can enjoy these healthy choices at a Chinese restaurant or simply order a takeout. 

What if you don’t find your fave, consider to make yourself a dish with the healthy food materials on the list.

How to Eat Healthy in China? 

It has been popular to eat healthy in China these days, which is part of Chinese culinary culture. In general, advocates for healthful eating comply with the timing: taste the first fresh (e.g. spring bamboo shoots) in spring, eat light in summer, taste unique flavor in autumn, and take nourishing food in winter.

Additional, it is suggested to “eat more five foods and eat less three foods” in your diet.

  • Eat more “white meat” - Eat chicken, duck, goose and fish, which has relatively low fat content and high unsaturated fatty acid, especially fish, which plays an important role in preventing hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Eat more lean meat and eat less fat meat to keep healthy.
  • Eat more nuts - Rich in nutrition, fat, and protein, with a variety of vitamins and minerals, nuts is a kind of healthy food and has a good health care effect on the human body.
  • Eat more wholegrain food - The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents recommend that the intake of roughage and whole grain products should be 50-100g per person per day (1/4 to 1/5 of the staple food).
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables - "Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents" suggests intake 300-500 grams of vegetables daily, and dark vegetables should account for half (including dark green, red, orange, purple and red vegetables); Daily intake of fresh fruit is 200-350 grams. >>Also read Most Popular Vegetarian Chinese Food.
  • Eat more steamed or boiled food - Stir-fry, stewed, steamed and boiled food can retain the original taste and nutrition to the maximum extent, making them some of the best healthy Chinese food options. In addition, meat is best cooked with low-fat, high-fiber foods, which can reduce the absorption of fat and cholesterol in the body.
  • healthies Chinese food

  • Eat less fried food - It tastes great, but really something to avoid if you wish to eat healthy.
  • Eat less sugar - Excessive sugar intake will not only disrupt the intestinal flora, weaken the intestinal barrier function, weaken the intestinal immunity, increase the susceptibility to a variety of physical and psychological diseases, and especially bad for diabetes. The daily intake of sugar for adults should be less than 25g.
  • Eat less refined rice/wheaten food - 70 percent of the vitamins and minerals are lost, and you actually have high-glycemic food.
  • 17 Healthy Chinese Food to Eat

    Healthy Chinese dishes:

    Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁)

    Healthy Chinese food options: Kung Pao chicken

    Spicy diced chicken with peanuts, it is one of the best Chinese food, one of the healthiest Chinese food, and very good tasting. Rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamins and carbohydrates and other nutrients, this dish can tonify Qi (nourish one's vitality), nourish the five internal organs, strength the spleen and stomach, and strong muscles and bones.

    Main ingredients: chicken, peanuts, red chili

    Steamed Dumpling (饺子)

    Arguably the most popular and No.1 Chinese food, dumpling is also favored by most foreigners. You can have this healthy Chinese food in your daily diet. It is made of side dishes and foods with protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1, subsist B2, nicotinic acid and starch -- rich in nutrition.

    There are different flavors of dumplings, with different side dishes. The most popular are leek and meat dumpling, beef dumpling, radish and meat dumpling, cucumber and egg dumpling ... all best healthy Chinese food options. And you can try to make dumpling yourself at home with our dumpling recipe.

    Moo Goo Gai Pan (蘑菇鸡片)

    Healthy Chinese food options: Moo Goo Gai pan

    Chicken is fresh and tender, fragrant and delicious, with higher nutritional value. While eating mushrooms often can enhance immunity, prevent premature aging, and have the effect of strengthening the body. It has been a top healthy dish since ancient times, and a perfect match in terms of nutrition and taste.

    Ma Po Tofu (麻婆豆腐)

    It is stewed beancurd with minced pork in pepper sauce. Tofu is a unique and traditional Chinese healthy food that can be found in almost everyday recipes. Tofu makes it easier for the human body to absorb the nutrients of soybeans. Moreover, tofu is soft, tender and yummy Chinese food that is widely loved by the elderly. Among tofu, mapo toufu is more famous. It is characterized by spicy, hot, fragrant, crisp, tender, and fresh.

    Main ingredients: tofu, thick broad-bean sauce, minced beef, Sichuan peppercorn

    Fried Rice with Egg (蛋炒饭)

    Healthy Chinese food options: fried rice

    Fried rice with eggs is a must-have Chinese food. If the ingredients is scientifically and reasonably matched, with reasonable cooking methods, it is undoubtedly a very healthy Chinese food. Here are some tips for cooking fried rice with egg:

  • Keep the temperature below 120 degrees.
  • Choose reasonable side dishes such as cucumber, carrot, pepper, broccoli, onion, etc. Adding side dishes can also help lower the cooking temperature and make the fried rice healthier. 
  • Sauteed shrimps with celery and lily (西芹百合炒虾仁)

    Healthy Chinese food options: Sauteed shrimps with celery and lily

    It is a low-calorie, nutritious, delicious healthy Chinese dish. It is simple to prepare, delicious and fragrant. It can promote appetite, reduce blood fat, healthy brain and clear intestines, especially suitable for elderly people. 

    Beef with broccoli (西蓝花炒牛肉)

    There is always a healthy broccoli recipe. This yummy Chinese food is high in protein and low in fat, and rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, and floradix. It is a healthy dish for pregnant woman, postoperative patient, and the week that with to promote liver detoxification and build up resistance.

    Cold Eggplant (凉拌茄子)

    Healthy Chinese food options: Cold Eggplant

    Eggplant is a must on the healthy Chinese food list. You may have eaten sweet and sour eggplant or stir-fry eggplant in Chinese restaurant. But this dish is the healthiest way to eat eggplant, and a great choice in summer. Steam eggplant, and mix it with olive oil, tahini, mashed garlic and a pinch of salt. Olive oil is undoubtedly a healthy oil, tahini is rich in calcium, protein and vitamins, and garlic puree has antibacterial and anti-cancer effects.

    Healthy Chinese breakfast:

    Steam bun (包子)

    Healthy Chinese food options: steam bun

    According to nutrition experts, steam bun is a very healthy Chinese food. It is said that astronauts would eat a meal of steam bun before each launch of China's national manned space program.

    Stuffed food is a characteristic food of Chinese diet, and steam bun, as its representative, can contain everything. All sorts of food materials such as vegetables, meat, egg, shrimp, bean products and agaric, vermiceous, green onion can be made into stuffing, which best accord with the diversity, balanced principle advocated on dietetics.

    It is one of the healthiest Chinese foods with the healthiest cooking method - steaming.

    All kinds of noodles (面条)

    If you are looking for authentic Chinese breakfast that is also healthy and good tasting, the noodles are perfect. There are various kinds of noodles in different areas of China. They can cooked with beef, vegetable, minced meat, tofu, eggs, shrimp, and other healthy food ingredients. 

    Healthy Chinese noodles include Beijing Fried Bean Sauce Noodles, Lanzhou Hand Pull Noodles, stewed noodles, and more.

    Wonton (馄饨)

    Healthy Chinese food options: wonton

    There is no way we are going to conclude this list of yummy and healthy Chinese food without wonton. It is a popular breakfast that you can eat almost at any places of China, from the metropolis to small village.

    There are meat wonton, beef wonton, and shrimp wonton, usually paired with lettuce and delicious soup.

    Healthy drinks & snacks:

    Spring roll (春卷)

    Healthy Chinese food options: spring rolls

    Both shrimp/meat spring rolls are veggie spring rolls are healthy. If you choose spring rolls for dinner, two spring rolls are equivalent to 1/4 bowl of rice. Eat two rolls at a time, which is equivalent to the intake of about 500-600 calories, and in line with the high fiber diet. Veggie spring rolls are also a good snack, containing about 100 to 150 calories per roll.

    Chinese tea (中国茶)

    Tea and coffee is the two most healthy drinks in the world. Chinese tea is also known as "magical Oriental leaves" in the West. This natural drink contains tea polyphenols, caffeine, chlorophyll and other nutrients. For those that wish to lose wight and keep healthy diet, you can always try China slim tea and Chinese detox tea. 

    there are also healthy dishes served with tea, such as Hangzhou shrimp cooked with longjing green tea, Guilin oil tea hot pot. 

    Red dates (红枣)

    Healthy Chinese food options: Red dates

    This is one of the healthy Chinese food options for women, including pregnant women. Red dates are known as "natural vitamin pills", rich in vitamin P that can prolong life, ranking first among fruits. In addition, it is rich in vitamin C, protein, fat, organic acid, calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and vitamin B and other nutrients.

    The best part, a red date will only set you back about 15 calories.

    Healthy food materials:


    Onions is hailed as “natural Cardiovascular scaffold” and “queen of vegetables”.


    Garlic is a common condiment in Chinese healthy diet and can be added appropriately when cooking dishes. It is rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, carotene, allicin, trace elements, dietary fiber and so on.

    Shii-take (Lentinus edodes)

    Shii-take is a fungus food with high protein, low fat, polysaccharide, various amino acids and vitamins. It can help improve the body's immune function and delay aging.  

    What Chinese Food is Good for Diabetics? 

    People with diabetes must control their intake of carbohydrates. Don't overload your pancreas with fatty foods. Get protein, especially high-quality protein. Avoid vegetables and fruits that contain much sugar. 

    Below we list healthy Chinese food that is good for diabetics, eat approximately:  

  • Breakfast: soybean milk, boiled egg, millet congee, polenta, milk, cereal, steam corn bread, corn pancake 
  • Lunch/dinner: egg and vegetable noodles, straw mushroom with stems of mustard greens, fried wax gourd with mushroom, stewed beef balls with wax gourd, fried bitter gourd

  • keep reading:

  • Top Restaurants in China
  • Halal Chinese Food 

  • Leave a Comment