Eating at Asian restaurants with their high-salt options — here’s some alternatives

I think for me, Asian food will continue to mean items I cook at home myself.

Chinese food, more correctly old-fashioned Chinese-American restaurant offerings like fried rice, spare ribs, egg rolls and lobster-filled fried wontons, is perhaps the cuisine I miss the most since switching to a low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet after my 2012 angioplasty.

My Chinese birthday dinner, egg rolls, crab rangoon, Mongolian beef. Not shown was the fried rice.
My Chinese birthday dinner, egg rolls, crab rangoon, Mongolian beef. Not shown was the fried rice.

I went back to it on a birthday in 2014, with unpleasant results. And I’ve found some ways to make Asian dishes at home with a salt-free teriyaki marinade.

So I was interested to read a post on former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels’ site headlined “Learn Healthy Options at Asian Restaurants.” I generally think there are none, but she started out with one that I can actually agree with — sashimi instead of sushi at a Japanese place. 

“Stick to sashimi. Order your favorite rolls as hand rolls with no rice. You can do this with almost any roll,” she writes. I’ve been warned off rice and haven’t eaten it very often since my surgery. I used to eat sushi every Friday for lunch, but haven’t done that in more than three years. Sashimi is just the fish, salmon, tuna, etc., raw and wonderful (any raw food fans out there, you;re likely applauding right now).

Her other suggestions, beef and broccoli in a Chinese restaurant, satay in a Thai and grilled items in an Indian restaurant left me less impressed because she’s not addressing salt issues in those.

I think for me, Asian food will continue to mean items I cook at home myself.

John

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