How Much Salt Is in a Chinese Takeaway?

Chinese takeaways are known for their savory and delectable dishes that tantalize our taste buds with a burst of flavors. However, amidst the aromas and spices that dance in the air, perhaps one question lingers undetected: How much salt is actually present in a typical Chinese takeaway? While these culinary delights may leave us craving for more, it’s crucial to understand the potential impact of excessive salt consumption on our health. Exploring the realm of Chinese cuisine, analyzing the traditional recipes, and delving into the potential health implications of salt intake can shed light on the hidden aspects of our beloved Chinese takeaways. From the bold flavors to the potential pitfalls, this piece aims to uncover the salt-laden secrets that lie beneath the surface of this beloved cuisine, ultimately empowering individuals to make informed choices about their dietary habits. So, grab your chopsticks and delve into the savory world of Chinese takeaways in search of the answers to the burning questions surrounding their salt content.

Do Chinese People Use a Lot of Salt?

The consumption of salt in Chinese cuisine has long been a subject of interest and concern. While Chinese food is renowned for it’s rich flavors and variety, it’s no secret that the cuisine often incorporates generous amounts of salt. On average, Chinese individuals have been found to consume a staggering 9.2 grams of salt daily, which is nearly twice the amount recommended by the World Health Organization.

Many traditional Chinese dishes, such as soy sauce or various pickled vegetables, heavily rely on high salt content for their distinct taste and longevity.

Efforts are being made to address this issue. The Chinese government has implemented policies to promote public awareness of salt intake and encourage reduced sodium levels in processed foods. Additionally, there’s an increasing focus on the incorporation of healthier cooking methods and ingredients, such as reducing salt and exploring alternative flavor enhancers like herbs and spices.

The Impact of High Salt Intake on Chinese Health: This Could Explore the Health Consequences of Consuming Excessive Amounts of Salt in Chinese Cuisine, Such as Increased Risk of Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, and Stroke.

High salt intake in Chinese cuisine can have negative impacts on health. Excessive salt consumption is known to increase the risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. The heavy use of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other condiments in Chinese takeaways can contribute to a high salt content in these dishes. It’s important to be mindful of the amount of salt consumed in Chinese takeaway meals to maintain a healthy diet and reduce the risks associated with high salt intake.

According to a recent study, delivery pizzas have been found to contain the highest amount of salt among various takeaway options. On average, delivery pizzas were found to have a salt content of 9.45g. This was closely followed by Chinese food with 8.1g of salt, kebabs with 6.2g, Indian cuisine with 4.7g, and English takeaways with the lowest amount of salt at 2.2g. These findings highlight the need for awareness and moderation when consuming takeaway meals, considering their potential impact on health.

Which Takeaway Has the Most Salt?

When it comes to the question of how much salt is in a Chinese takeaway, it’s important to consider the wider context of various takeout options. A study conducted to explore the salt content of different types of takeaways revealed some interesting findings. Of all the takeaway options analyzed in the study, delivery pizzas topped the list with the highest salt content, averaging at 9.45 grams per serving. This suggests that when it comes to salt, pizzas may not be the healthiest choice for those watching their sodium intake.

This indicates that while Chinese food may still contain a relatively high amount of salt, it falls short of the salt levels found in delivery pizzas. It’s worth noting that salt content can vary across different dishes within a Chinese takeaway, with certain dishes potentially containing more salt than others.

Following Chinese takeaways, kebabs were found to have an average salt content of 6.2 grams per serving. While still high in salt, kebabs fell behind both pizzas and Chinese takeaways in terms of sodium levels. Indian takeaways were next on the list, with an average salt content of 4.7 grams per serving. It’s interesting to see the decreasing trend in salt content as we move away from pizzas towards Indian takeaways.

Lastly, English takeaways had the lowest average salt content among the options studied, coming in at only 2.2 grams per serving. This suggests that individuals looking for a takeaway option with lower salt levels might consider exploring English cuisine. However, it’s important to remember that these figures represent averages, and specific dishes within each type of takeaway can still vary in their salt content.

The Health Risks of Consuming High Amounts of Salt

Consuming high amounts of salt can pose significant health risks. Chinese takeaways are often known for their savory flavors, but they can also contain excessive salt content. Excessive salt intake can increase blood pressure, leading to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also contribute to water retention, which may result in bloating and edema. Additionally, excessive salt consumption over time can negatively impact kidney function. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of the salt content in Chinese takeaways and consider healthier alternatives or moderation when indulging in these dishes.

One effective way to reduce sodium in Chinese food is to limit the amount of salt used in cooking. Additionally, avoiding the addition of soy sauce at the table, as it contains approximately 1,000 mg of sodium per tablespoon, can significantly lower the sodium content of the meal. Opting for a smaller portion of dipping sauce and requesting dishes to be prepared without the use of MSG (monosodium glutamate) are also helpful strategies. Another simple yet effective step is to skip the soup course, which can significantly reduce the overall sodium intake from the meal.

How Do You Reduce Sodium in Chinese Food?

When it comes to reducing sodium in Chinese food, there are a few strategies you can employ. One of the simplest ways is to limit the use of salt in your dishes. Instead, try experimenting with alternative seasonings and herbs to enhance the flavor of your dishes without relying on salt.

Soy sauce is notorious for being high in sodium, with approximately 1,000 mg of sodium per tablespoon. By refraining from using soy sauce or using it sparingly, you can greatly reduce the sodium content of your meal. Instead, consider using low-sodium soy sauce if you still want the flavor but with less sodium.

When ordering Chinese takeout, be mindful of dipping sauces. Many of these sauces, such as sweet and sour sauce or hoisin sauce, contain a significant amount of sodium.

Additionally, it’s important to ask that dishes be prepared without MSG (monosodium glutamate). MSG is often used in Chinese cuisine to enhance flavors, but it can also contribute to high sodium levels. By requesting your dishes to be made without MSG, you can further reduce the sodium content in your meal.

Lastly, consider skipping the soup course when enjoying a Chinese takeaway. Many Chinese soups, such as hot and sour soup or egg drop soup, can contain a considerable amount of sodium. By omitting the soup, you can significantly cut down on your sodium intake and enjoy a lower-sodium Chinese meal.

Choosing Low-Sodium Alternatives in Chinese Cooking, Such as Low-Sodium Soy Sauce, to Reduce Sodium Content.

  • Use low-sodium soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce.
  • Opt for fresh ingredients to add flavor, like ginger and garlic.
  • Experiment with herbs and spices to enhance the taste without adding salt.
  • Consider using vinegar or citrus juice as a tangy alternative.
  • Look for low-sodium broth or stock to use in soups and stir-fries.
  • Try reducing the amount of salt called for in recipes and adding more herbs and spices instead.
  • Go easy on condiments like oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and fish sauce, which can be high in salt.
  • Avoid using pre-packaged seasonings that often contain added sodium.
  • Take the time to read nutrition labels and choose products with lower sodium content.
  • Experiment with new flavor combinations and techniques to make up for any perceived lack of salt.

When it comes to enjoying Chinese food while maintaining a low sodium intake, it’s important to choose wisely. Instead of opting for fried dishes that tend to be higher in sodium, a better alternative is to go for veggie-filled appetizers such as spring rolls, lettuce wraps, or steamed dumplings. By sticking to steamed options, you can keep sodium levels in check and make a healthier choice for your meal. Avoiding breaded and batter-fried items is also advisable, as they often contain higher levels of sodium.

What Type of Chinese Food Is Low in Sodium?

Chinese cuisine offers a variety of options that are low in sodium. One excellent choice is to opt for veggie-filled appetizers such as spring rolls, lettuce wraps, or steamed dumplings. These dishes are usually lower in sodium compared to meat-heavy appetizers like beef or chicken skewers. Additionally, the filling in steamed dumplings is often made with vegetables and lean meats, which further reduces the sodium content.

It’s also advisable to choose steamed dishes over fried options, as they tend to have lower sodium levels. Fried foods, especially those that are breaded and batter-fried, often contain higher amounts of sodium. Steamed dishes like steamed vegetables, tofu, or fish are a healthier and lower-sodium alternative.

In addition to being mindful of your choices, another useful tip is to request for less salt or soy sauce to be used in the preparation of your food. Most Chinese restaurants are accommodating and can adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences or dietary needs.

Ultimately, making conscious choices and being aware of the types of dishes and cooking methods used can help you enjoy a Chinese takeaway that’s low in sodium. It’s possible to savor the flavors of Chinese cuisine while still keeping your sodium intake in check.

Exploring Low-Sodium Options in Popular Chinese Dishes Such as Kung Pao Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, and Mongolian Beef.

When dining at a Chinese takeaway, it’s natural to wonder about the amount of salt in the dishes. Some popular options like Kung Pao chicken, General Tso’s chicken, and Mongolian beef can be high in sodium due to the use of soy sauce and other seasonings.

If you’re looking for low-sodium alternatives, it’s recommended to inquire with the restaurant if they can accommodate your request. They may be able to prepare these dishes with less salt or offer healthier options that are naturally lower in sodium.

Alternatively, you can try homemade versions of these Chinese dishes using reduced-sodium soy sauce or experimenting with alternative seasonings for a similar flavor profile. This way, you’ve more control over the sodium content and can make them suitable for your dietary needs.

Remember, moderation is always key when it comes to salt intake, and it’s essential to balance it with other nutritious ingredients in your overall diet.

Source: What can I eat at a Chinese restaurant that’s low in sodium?..


Excessive salt consumption can contribute to health issues, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, individuals should aim to make informed choices and practice moderation when enjoying their favorite Chinese takeout dishes.

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