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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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Real Chinese Food Sucks… the Health Out of You    

By Achelle Vinzon
23006 Views | 76 Comments | 5/19/2013 3:07:59 PM

So just how healthy is that Chinese food you're eating anyway?

Point one: Food is supposed to be good for both the body and the soul.

Point two: Loving our partner means wanting them to be always in the peak of their health; we want them to live a long and healthy life.

Point three: Very high cooking temperatures, excessive oil, and monosodium glutamate (MSG or 味精) are all bad for health.

Point four: These three items listed in point three are common elements in Chinese cooking.

I will most likely get a lot of backlash, especially from the Chinese bloggers here, by saying that Chinese food sucks; but these are all valid points and the unhealthiness of everyday Chinese food, and even many specialty Chinese dishes, served in restaurants and in homes is backed up by hard science.

This presents a huge problem, because most Chinese women seem to be completely unaware of the dangers inherent in the very food they are preparing, and somehow have convinced themselves that Chinese food as prepared in mainland China is the healthiest food there is. Worse yet, they pass this mistaken belief on to their Western partners, who gullibly believe that “authentic Chinese food” is good for them, when in fact it frequently makes even a MacDonald’s Big Mac nutritious by comparison.

To make matters worse, Chinese people (including most Chinese women) are notoriously loyal to Chinese food and will rarely accept any other food in their diet. Not only do they insist on eating nothing but Chinese food themselves, but they often bring their newfound western partners over to the Chinese food dark side as well. Given that the cross-cultural relationships here on CLM/ALM are more often than not between Chinese women and foreign men, and that it often (but not always) falls on the women’s shoulders to ensure that their partner eats a healthy diet, discussing the health issues associated with Chinese food is extremely relevant here.

Stir-frying. This may be one of the healthier cooking techniques out there, especially when it comes to frying, but only if it’s done correctly and if the right kind of cooking oil is used. When done properly, stir-frying significantly reduces the time that food is exposed to high heat and cooked in oil and, therefore, also reduces the amount of oil the food absorbs. Proper stir-frying also only uses a very small amount of oil, usually just one tablespoon, often mixed with water.

In most Chinese restaurants, however, and even in some homes, inferior oil or oil that is not suitable for high-heat cooking is often used (such as one with a low smoking point); the high temperature required in stir-frying breaks down the fatty acids in the oil, changing its chemical structure, producing toxins, and causing nutrient loss in the food.

It has also become very common practice to use copious amounts of oil, as well as blanching the ingredients in oil before they are stir-fried to make them tender and to add flavor. The resulting stir-fry is often swimming in oil when served.


Using too much and reusing cooking oil. Well, it is common knowledge that the fats in certain oils are bad for health. In fact, even the “healthy” fats in “healthy” oils can also be harmful when used excessively and reused too many times. Reusing cooking oils produces a toxin that may increase risks for stroke, cardiovascular disease, liver disorders, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s, to name a few.

Cooking oil becomes more degraded every time it is reused, and the more it degrades, the more trans and saturated fats are produced. When these fats are absorbed by the body, they can contribute to artery blockage and heart disease. Chinese restaurants, and many Chinese households, are notorious for reusing cooking oils far longer than is remotely safe, let alone healthy. And then there is the now infamous issue of “Gutter Oil” that has reached such epidemic proportions in China that the government has recently started imposing the death penalty on persons convicted of selling such oil for further consumption. But that’s a different health issue altogether.

Using monosodium glutamate, or MSG or 味精. It seems that the Chinese simply cannot cook without this ingredient. They add it to everything to enhance the flavor of food; many of the sauces used in Chinese dishes, such as soy sauce and oyster sauce, are also high in MSG.

MSG is one of the worst food additives used in food. Processed foods, which the Chinese are very fond of, are loaded with MSG. Restaurant and home-cooked dishes are generously dusted with the granules, and more of this chemically-altered salt is added when MSG-enhanced sauces are also used in cooking or as dips when eating. MSG has become an indispensable ingredient in Chinese kitchens; the Chinese have become so dependent on it that they cannot produce flavorful food without it.


Numerous scientific studies have shown MSG is an excitotoxin – it overexcites the brain cells and produces an addictive rush which fools the brain into thinking that the food tastes great. The repeated overstimulation of the brain cells can eventually lead to damage.

MSG has also been shown to contribute to obesity. In fact, a study done in China found that MSG intake causes weight gain in humans. You can view an article about the said study here: http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/the-dangers-of-msg. Another effect that MSG has on the brain is the additive’s alteration of the brain’s ability to know when a person is satiated, thus making the person eat more.

It would be fair to point out that China’s diverse culinary culture, especially some of its most traditional cooking practices and techniques, also offers a lot of balanced and healthy food options. Chinese restaurant menus and everyday home cooking, however, mostly serve dishes that are not prepared properly and which are bad for health. The sad fact is that over the most recent 5 decades or so the Chinese have come to love their excessive oil and rely on the flavor enhancement of MSG to such a degree that Chinese food is no longer the health food that it truly once was.

Any Chinese woman who wants a foreign partner/husband, whether or not he is now, or will be, living in China, may also want to give some serious thought to the aforementioned points and, perhaps, to the possibility of making changes to their diet and learning more about healthier food options.

Please keep an eye out for my future blogs on healthier versions of some Chinese recipes that you can cook for your western partner!

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 76) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 More...
#2013-05-19 14:13:04 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Wow. Achelle, you are definitely grabbing a tiger by the tail with this one. My experience tells me that you do not want to get in a pushing contest with Chinese people about their food. I think I agree that you are in for a major backlash. It should be very interesting.

#2013-05-19 15:11:07 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

Hi John. Well, I've always believed that there are times when tough love works better in getting a message across than pussyfooting or being delicate does. So, if grabbing a tiger by its tail would be the most effective way of getting its attention and out of direct shot of a poacher, then I'd just have to climb a very high tree afterwards.

Kidding aside, somebody has to step up and point out that the emperor is, in fact, not wearing any clothes. Knowing when it's time to get involved and when to keep being an idle bystander can be a tricky affair; but during instances wherein an unhealthy practice is not only being ignored but is actually getting out of hand, not saying anything is just irresponsible. I don't even want to get started on what happened to Yue Yue.

#2013-05-19 15:34:15 by anonymous6220 @anonymous6220

This is very interesting to me as I have recently been investigating the healthiness of the Asian woman's diet. This is what I have gathered from my investigation: yes, it is true the Chinese woman talks about the superiority of their "authentic" cuisine, but I noticed what they eat in these restaurants...

If there is mostly fruits and vegetables available, the women focus on that. They eat very little oily or fried foods. They minimize their consumption of meat in general.

So there you have it everybody. The secret to a healthy and slim body. Eat mostly fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Minimize everything else. It's that simple.

#2013-05-19 16:40:50 by canadianmike @canadianmike

This is an eye-opening article. I can't wait to read the comments to follow, being a guy that absolutely loves food in general and Chinese food specifically. And I highly agree with a comment you made midway through the blog: the death penalty certainly IS a health issue for people! *wink*

#2013-05-19 20:59:13 by shazaohua @shazaohua

中国的劣质油且不说,在任何烹饪中都添加味精真的是很不利于健康。博主这篇文章很透彻地道出了中国食物的劣根。

味精属于化学调料,其实并没有什么营养价值,只不过是能提高菜的鲜度,使人有胃口罢了。过多的食用味精会掉头发,对视力也有一定的危害。中国人烹饪依赖味精,尤其
是餐馆味精添加的更多,饭后口总是感觉非常渴。


凡是任何食物都要添加味精,这是饮食上的依赖。中国人食物依赖味精,很难改变这种习惯,不放味精就要放鸡精,都是离不开这些添加剂,长期吃添加味精的食物只是图当时的口感好,长期下去,对身体有害。

其实很多食物有它本身的味道,就应该吃自然味道,也一样很好吃。新疆的维吾尔族家庭,烹饪食物不添加味精,食物一样很可口,是一种健康的生活方式。我很少到餐厅就餐,通常是自己烹饪食物,从不添加味精,朋友到我的家里来做客,我烹饪的食物他们都说很好吃,在我的倡导下,他们烹饪食物也不添加味精了,养成不添加味精的习惯。


#2013-05-19 21:35:44 by cotswoldrambler @cotswoldrambler

What?!

If you were describing Chinese food as served in Western Chinese restaurants I would agree with you.

No doubt there are poor offerings in some areas of China but, having eaten in China (where it was wonderful to try foods as served at meals other than dinner) I now find it pointless going to any but the exceptionally best Chinese restaurant in the UK as the food is just as you describe in most outlets. Whilst at school my son worked at weekends in a local restaurant over here. It is well known that most make the food more salty sweeter and greasier.

Anything used to excess is bad for you but I have seen reports that MSG is no worse than salt. Both are too frequently used as a substitute for good flavours. I have never known anyone making an effort to prepare good food use that much salt and never used MSG.

I must say that much of the food I ate in China was steamed or boiled rather than fried. I had a wonderful time and both my most expensive and cheapest dinners in Guilin. During my time in China I went on a 5 day tour as the only westerner in about 20 coachloads. I had a great time and came away with many of their photos and views on westerners. Our travel reps were so proud they were the ones with the westerner which made it special for all on our coach. When we reached Hainan the most common question was are all westerners fat? If your view of Chinese food is correct why are so few Chinese fat? I know that is changing but your generalisation goes nowhere near matching my experiences.

#2013-05-19 21:46:34 by anonymous6226 @anonymous6226

My suggestion: better talk about your own food, which you understood much better then Chinese food.

Chinese restaurant food are very different from Chinese home made dishe. if you never lived in a Chiense family, brought up by mother' cooking or the dishes made by your wife/ husband you will never really know the truth.

Introduce dishes from your own country, we would like to learn something new and something different from us - we are open to new thing.

But I dont like the idea that your coments about Chinese food this way for sure and felt more unhappy about your coments about Chinese woman's aim to have a western husband.

Our socity is quite different, or I shall say very different from yours now.
So please do not try to present your view and saying it is a Chinese's view. it is not objective and not polite to us either.

You can tell a lot about your own country, your life there in Philipin, which are very wellcomed.

Yes please represent people from your own country, and introduce your tradtions. Remember you can never ever represent Chinese women, it is the very fact, coz you are not Chinese.

#2013-05-19 22:34:02 by lhui @lhui

如果有不幸跟我一样,偶而点击并且耐心地看完此博客的姐妹们~~路过就好,无需跟贴辩论,因为这样的论调无疑出于一个“井底之蛙”之口——纸上谈兵,只从局部和表面看待问题和现象,是一个思想成熟的人该有的论调?果真如她所言,为啥咱中国人的人均寿命就高过她国?比咱中国的经济落后多少倍且不去论了~~跟此物在此浪费口舌和时间,不如多花点时间去跟自己心仪的男士交流和沟通~~呵呵~~又或许,她只是想以此来激怒我们,乘机炒作也未可知?~~对于无知者,最好的对策就是漠视和不齿,是不是?

居然以专家口吻说教,实在是可笑;

公然挑衅咱优秀的中国姐妹们,实在是自不量力!

还是有咱中国姐妹们的“foreign partner/husband”到她那投诉去了?幼稚!

一个连自己的人生都把握不了的人,居然还爱操这份闲心?!是想借此平台模仿菲国政府挑衅性咱中国吗?——想来你也无此能力吧?小小一平民,奉劝先扫好自家门前雪~~

#2013-05-19 23:41:29 by greengiant @greengiant

There is a big difference between commercially prepared food and food cooked at home, not just in China but everywhere in the world. If you have ever had the good fortune of being invited to Chinese homes to enjoy some home cooked meals, you would know that the majority of people don't drown their cooking with oils and MSG as you think we do. True, Chinese people overall has become less healthy these days, mostly due to the invasion of American fast foods and the acceptance of the western diet. But thanks to your article, I'm throwing out the fish sauce because it is one of the worst offenders in my kitchen.

#2013-05-20 01:23:23 by Tyler72 @Tyler72

This is a big deal to me... I am dianetic and have an adverse tea tipn to msg... Lol, i love good chinese food but if Im not careful it can become a real nightmare for me...

Chinese redtaurants in America are one of the WORST abusers of msg anywhere I ever go.

That said, past Chinese gfs amd friends ha e cooked fantastic meals for me that dont bother me at all. They know my dietary issues and just use fresh ingredients without pouring in processed chemical ridden additives n broths.

It really is just a matter of education first, followed by a choice to cook healthy.

When I cook, i use fresh ingredients and fresh meat or fishes. The natural food flavors are better and i feel better after eating, have more energy, i sleep better.. My skin is better etc. i dont retain water.. Better in all ways.

Great article!

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