When you don't feel like cooking, Chinese take-out food can be a convenient, tasty choice. While many Chinese dishes can be healthy, not all menu items are optimal for your health. Consider chicken fried rice nutrition facts when placing your order.
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Chinese take-out chicken fried rice is high in fat and carbohydrates, but it's also a good source of protein. Use a calorie tracker to be mindful of your choices and portion size.
Read more: How Is White Rice Healthy for Our Body?
Chicken Fried Rice Calories
Chinese take-out chicken fried rice is calorie-dense. According to the USDA, chicken fried rice calories clock in at 220 per cup. Based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet, this is is 11 percent of your caloric needs.
Only 6 percent chicken fried rice calories are from fat. One cup contains 1.5 grams of total fat. There is no saturated fat in this dish — a type of fat that can increase your cholesterol levels and increase risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Count Carbohydrates and Fiber
As with other rice-based dishes, Chinese take-out chicken fried rice is rich in carbohydrates. Each one cup serving contains between 38 grams of carbohydrates, a nutrient that is your body's primary source of energy. Because of this, high-carbohydrate foods can be helpful for fueling sports and other activities.
One important type of carbohydrate Chinese take-out chicken fried rice provides is dietary fiber. Each one cup serving provides 2 grams of dietary fiber, a nutrient that helps manage your blood sugar levels, promote satiety and ensure a healthy digestive system, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The recommended daily intake for fiber is 38 grams for males and 25 grams for females, according to the National Academies of Sciences.
Packed With Protein
Chinese take-out chicken fried rice is rich in protein. Each one cup serving contains 11 grams of protein. This provides 20 percent of the recommended 56 grams per day for men and 24 percent of the recommended amount for women, according to the National Academies of Sciences. Protein is vital for your health because it helps maintain and build your body's cells and tissues.
Read more: Which Rice is Healthiest for Consumption?
Watch the Salt
Chinese take-out chicken fried rice is high in sodium, with 1,140 milligrams per cup — more than 50 percent of the daily maximum. According to the American Heart Association, daily sodium intake should be limited to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day for healthy adults. If you have high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease, this recommendation drops to 1,500 milligrams.
Make Healthier Choices
To reduce sodium content, choose steamed vegetables and plain white or brown rice when ordering Chinese take-out. While all rice is high in carbohydrates, plain rice is significantly lower in sodium than its fried counterpart. Just be aware that adding sauces, such as soy sauce, can bump the sodium content back up. One tablespoon of soy sauce has a shocking 1,005 milligrams of sodium, according to the USDA.
- Mayo Clinic: "Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet; November 2009"
- American Heart Association: "How Much Sodium Should I Eat Per Day?"
- National Academies of Sciences: "Macronutrients"
- Harvard School of Public Health: "Fiber"
- American Heart Association: "The Skinny on Fats"
- USDA National Nutrient Database: "Soy Sauce Made From Soy (Tamari)"