Traditional Chinese diet the best way to healthy eating
Authentic Chinese food, cooked in the traditional way, provides a healthy diet and could be the key to solving the West’s obesity crisis, according to nutritionists.
The traditional Friday night Chinese takeaway is packed with monosodium glutamate – a food additive which has been linked to migraines, asthma, depression and Alzheimer’s – and cooking oil, making it one of the greasiest cuisines available.
However, Chinese food expert Lorraine Clissold, says that cooking Chinese food in the authentic way is healthy, fulfilling, fights illness and can prolong our life span.
The Chinese diet has a low glycemic load, says Clissold, which is a far more effective way to achieve weight loss than the Western world’s calorie-controlled and low-fat diets.
Chinese people also have a different approach to cooking vegetables, viewing them as a meal in their own right, as opposed to a bland accompaniment to meat or fish, as we often do in the UK.
Nutritionist Patrick Holford says: ‘Vegetables should make up half of what’s on your plate in any given meal, so this fits perfectly with the Chinese diet.’
Food expert Ian Marber also explains that the Chinese tradition of eating plain rice is also beneficial to our diet as rice is low in fat and high in nutrients and fibre.
Finally the Chinese habit of cooking liquid foods like soup or a soup-based dish, usually present at every Chinese meal, is an excellent way of increasing your water intake.
Holford says: ‘Thirst is often confused with hunger. Also, drinking does tend to fill you up. So soups help you control your appetite.’
Meanwhile Marber comments: ‘I’m a great believer in soups before food. Miso soup, for instance, or anything fermented – these are probiotics, which help release nutrients from the food you are about to eat.’