A healthier take on Chinese food

A healthier take on Chinese food

Traditional Chinese food can be made healthier for the heart without sacrificing taste or flavor.

Researchers in Beijing, China wondered if they could develop a heart healthy, lower-sodium diet that would still meet diners’ expectations for traditional cuisine. Their recent findings showed that it can be done. Among the study’s participants, sodium consumption was cut in half. Fat intake also was reduced, while dietary fiber got a major boost.

While heart-healthy diets have gained traction in other parts of the world, the researchers knew what was missing: a similar plan that would fit into traditional Chinese cuisine. They recruited nearly 300 adults with high blood pressure, then developed healthier foods that remained culturally authentic. Researchers wanted the new foods to be familiar in terms of flavor while cutting back on salt and saturated fat.

Half of the study participants stayed on a traditional diet while the others began eating healthy. After a month, the benefits of a leaner, lower-sodium diet were evident. The researchers noted that cutting back on salt and fat while consuming more fiber had the same effect as taking a blood pressure medication.

But how did the new food taste compared with traditional cuisine? The study’s participants reported flavor and taste experiences with the new foods were very similar to their traditional dishes. The findings also suggest that heart-healthy Chinese food could reduce cardiovascular disease by 20% and heart failure by 28%.

That’s good news for anyone who enjoys some Kung Pao chicken, now available without food guilt.

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