Chinese Takeaway meal for one contains enough food for two people
28 Sept 2012. Eating a typical Chinese takeaway meal of a starter, main course and egg fried rice can contain much more calories than an adult’s total daily requirements and one and a half times their recommended maximum level of salt according to a new reportą by safefood. In addition, some Chinese takeaway starter dishes provided a third of an adult’s total daily calorie requirement. The research is the latest in a series of reviews of takeaway foods and continues safefood’s work in helping consumers make more informed choices when eating food prepared outside the home.
Commenting on the research, Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition, safefood said:
Although traditional Chinese food is healthy, being low in fat and with a strong emphasis on vegetables, chefs here have adapted their recipes to suit local taste buds as their dishes have become more popular. With our taste buds in the West favouring foods which are high in fat, salt and sugar and because we eat bigger portions, Chinese dishes have become less healthy over time. While it is encouraging that almost two thirds (62%) of people regard Chinese takeaway as a treat˛, portion sizes are unnecessarily generous and not healthy”.
The safefood research which sampled 220 Chinese meal items from 35 outlets
on the island of Ireland also found:
There was a major difference in the portion size of starters sold, with a five-fold difference among Prawn crackers and a three-fold difference in portions of Won Tons and Vegetable Spring Rolls.
An average portion (104g) of Prawn Crackers contained 608 calories
, almost a third of an adults’ guideline daily amount.
Salt levels are considerably high, with all main courses tested containing more than half of an adults’ total guideline daily amount (6g) and in some instances, exceeding it.
The average rice portion was 359g which is sufficient for two adults
The average portion of egg fried rice contained 727 calories, representing more than a third of an adults’ guideline daily amount
“Consumer research˛ tells us that more than half (54%) of consumers choose egg fried rice
(727 calorie average) and we know that a main dish served with this can result in a person consuming between 1300 and 1800 calories. And that’s before we even begin to consider all the other foods we’ve eaten during the day”, continued Dr Foley-Nolan. “However, there are plenty of healthy Chinese takeaway options available and people should consider sharing dishes when ordering to ensure appropriate portion size.”
Consumer research˛ by safefood also found almost half of people (47%) always order the same Chinese dish and 68% eat their meal in full, in one sitting.
The survey is the latest in a series of nutritional surveys commissioned by safefood looking at popular takeaway foods. Previous surveys have looked at Chicken & Potato products; Salt levels in Takeaway Soup; takeaway & shop-bought pizzas and; takeaway burgers.