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America's Worst Chinese Meals... though some aren't even Chine

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#1 korniceman3000



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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:06 PM


America's Worst Chinese Meals
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By David Zinczenko
Nov 15, 2010

What's the last thing you're likely to find in a Chinese restaurant in America? A trained chef. Even though there are three times more Chinese restaurants in America than there are McDonald's, there's very little real Chinese cooking going on. Whatever authenticity that once might have existed has long since been warped by years of exposure to American taste.

As the authors of the new Eat This, Not That! 2011, we've identified the six worst Chinese meals in the country. Ditch the disasters below for our delicious swaps and save up to 1,500 calories in one sitting! That means even if you order Chinese twice a month you can still lose 12 pounds a year by making smart swaps. Here's how:

Worst Soup
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P.F. Chang’s Chicken Noodle Soup (bowl)
600 calories
20 g fat (5 g saturated)
2,550 mg sodium
SODIUM EQUIVALENT: 3 Large Burger King French Fries

Yes, chicken noodle soup is more American than Chinese, but P.F. Chang’s has lent its own spicy spin to this classic. This means they’ve added a few extra ingredients to the mix, not to mention an excessive load of calories and sodium—which is P.F. Chang’s calling card. The restaurant claims this soup should be shared (along with most of their entrées), but how many people realistically share soup with three other people for dinner? Go with a cup of the egg drop soup and you’ll still get great flavors for one-tenth the calories.

Eat This Instead!
Egg Drop Soup (cup)
60 calories
3 g fat
640 mg sodium

Worst Chicken Combo Meal
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Manchu Wok Honey Garlic Chicken with Fried Rice and Seafood Rangoon
1,140 calories
55 g fat (13 g saturated)
2,340 mg sodium
FAT EQUIVALENT: 5.5 Wendy's Medium Chocolate Frostys

Where to begin with this dish? For starters, every single ingredient on this plate has been fried in one way or another. On top of that, the chicken is drenched in a sugary glaze and the rangoon is stuffed with super fatty cream cheese. This is the type of takeout meal that’ll end up taking you out. (If you're shocked by the caloric heft of this dish, wait till you see what made this shocking list of The Worst Chicken Dishes in America. Some of those items make this dish look like a multivitamin.) However, if you absolutely must indulge in a fried side, replace Manchu's 300-calorie rangoon with a 150-calorie egg roll. Skip both and you'll be even better off.

Eat This Instead!
Chicken with Snow Peas and Steamed Rice
510 calories
9 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
713 mg sodium

Worst Pork Entrée
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P.F. Chang’s Mu Shu Pork w/ Pancakes and Hoisin Sauce
1,210 calories
58 g fat (14 g saturated)
5,820 mg sodium
SODIUM EQUIVALENT: 43 Utz Pretzel Rods

Pork and vegetables—even with thin pancakes for wrapping-—shouldn’t be a horrible meal, and yet this dish accounts for roughly half of your day’s calories and almost two full days’ worth of sodium. You can blame the side of Hoisin for the latter. The Chinese dipping sauce is extra briny. Stick with the Hong Kong Beef and you’ll escape fairly unscathed.

Bonus tip: For more tasty and delicious swaps for all of your favorite foods, be sure to check out The 20 Best Restaurant Foods in America. You'll lose weight without ever dieting--the Eat This, Not That! mantra.

Eat This Instead!
Hong Kong Beef with Snow Peas
620 calories
28 g fat (6 g saturated)
1,852 mg sodium

Worst Beef Combo Meal
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Panda Express Beijing Beef and Fried Rice with a Veggie Spring Roll
1,420 calories
66 g fat (13 g saturated)
2,370 mg sodium
FAT EQUIVALENT: 11 Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls

The easiest way to eat smart and healthy at a Chinese restaurant is to scrap the rice and noodles entirely. By replacing empty carbohydrates with more meat and vegetables, you’ll get more flavors and more nutrients—and the extra protein will keep you feeling full for longer. As for the spring roll, I like them when they skip the deep-fryer. Unfortunately, Panda’s don’t.

Eat This Instead!
Pineapple Chicken and Broccoli and Beef
370 calories
16 g fat (3.5 g saturated)
1,430 mg sodium

Worst Noodle Combo Meal
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P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo
1,820 calories
84 g fat (8 g saturated)
7,692 mg sodium
SODIUM EQUIVALENT: 2 full boxes of Ritz Crackers

Sure, Chinese food is notorious for its higher-than-usual salt factor, but few dishes we’ve seen come anywhere close to this number. This dish carries the dubious distinction of being America’s saltiest restaurant meal—and even made our blow-your-mind list of the 20 Worst Foods in America 2010. It packs enough sodium to meet your body’s needs for more than 3 days. And the rest of Chang’s noodle options—and menu in general—aren’t much better. Go with the salmon and you’ll save almost 1,200 calories while getting plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat This Instead!
Asian Grilled Salmon with Rice
690 calories
12 g fat (4 g saturated)
1,430 mg sodium

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Applebee’s Crispy Orange Chicken Bowl
2,030 calories
80 g fat (15 g saturated, 1 g trans)
4,480 mg sodium
CALORIE EQUIVALENT: 10 Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts

Any meal that consists of fried chicken coated in viscous sauce is bound to be a caloric catastrophe. With more than a day's worth of calories and fat, this dish is doomsday in a bowl. With a lean chicken breast, a generous helping of mushrooms, and a tangy Dijon sauce, the Grilled Dijon Chicken & Portobellos is the perfect meal for an adventurous palate. Just make sure you ask for a side of broccoli—the extra potassium will help balance out the high sodium intake.

Eat This Instead!
Grilled Dijon Chicken & Portobellos
450 calories
16 g fat (6 g saturated)
1,810 mg sodium

#2 Kwcty6888


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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:57 PM


As a Chinese person, I'm so offended that they even bothered to make an article on this. Because these meals aren't even authentic Chinese.. Go to any authentic Chinese restaurant, and I guarantee you the food is nowhere near as unhealthy as the Americanized version of Chinese food..

#3 JustinPerky


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Posted 16 November 2010 - 03:52 PM

^ Agree.
I'm a Chinese myself..and those food sucks because it weren't prepared by an authentic Chinese.

#4 orangebear289


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 02:15 AM

i think its kind of funny that pf changs is the majority of this list. it makes me sad that americans think that these dishes are actually chinese! not at all....especially APPLEBEES! ugh

#5 korniceman3000



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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:33 AM

Chicken noodle soup LMAO!!!!! Never heard of that Chinese dish...

#6 xxiicorina


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:46 PM

I'm not Chinese, but seriously? An article about this? Look at these food! Some aren't even Chinese.
I'm just looking at the photos, and these look really good o_o xD LOL.

#7 Moon&Sunrise



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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:39 PM

They aren't Chinese ..But they look sooo good ^_^
Some don't even look Chinese though lmao
..Chinese chicken noodle soup? wtf lol

Edited by Moon&Sunrise, 17 November 2010 - 03:41 PM.

#8 Johan-BoA-


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 06:40 PM

Hiuhh.. looks so horrible ... ^_^

#9 studmuffin


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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:16 PM

I'd probably eat those things ^_^

#10 miwako


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Posted 18 November 2010 - 12:16 AM

Man I don't even count those places as actual Chinese restaurants. I mean Apple Bee's and PF Changs? *makes gagging noises* Its all just fast food.

#11 Mashimaro-san



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Posted 20 November 2010 - 07:02 PM

Yet the Chinese are much fit and slimmer than the overweight Americans which make up 30% of the population.

#12 Spark


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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:05 AM

I'm Chinese, and these don't even look like authentic Chinese food...

#13 Kitsune


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Posted 21 November 2010 - 02:42 AM

oh man. if theres anything i learned its that (at least in my opinion) PF Changs.... sucks Lol.
even their birthday cake was far beyond bad Lol

i kid you not, i went there once for my brother's birthday.
and never came back.

i think the only thing i found satisfaction in was probably their lettuce wraps. and i had those for free and a model homes showing LOL.

all of the places up there were all americanized which i thought was funny
and btw.
lol @applebees.

id eat panda express any day. well.. thats because its reasonably priced.. hahahah :notworthy:
i'll stick to great khans LOL.

Edited by Kitsune, 21 November 2010 - 02:45 AM.

#14 MOTOWAYohsixfive


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Posted 21 November 2010 - 08:46 AM

They're American takes on Chinese food, and they're all chains (some are fast food, too), so what do you expect?

They probably don't taste half bad though.

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