Healthy Recipes

What's Healthier: Fried Rice Vs. Lo Mein

The ultimate question of your Saturday night in, answered.

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What's Healthier: Fried Rice Vs. Lo Mein
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You train hard, and occasionally you like to reward yourself with Chinese takeout. (We said occasionally.) But you don’t want to abandon all discipline and end up feeling like the love child of Jabba the Hutt and Fat Bastard. So what’s the healthier order, fried rice or lo mein? Short answer: lo mein. Yes, both dishes usually come slathered in sauce, but the rice offers the unfortunate double-whammy of being fried in oil first. “You can’t make fried rice better unless you make it on your own,” says Jennifer Agustines, a Tampa-based registered dietitian. “If you want rice at a restaurant, your best bet is to get an entrée like chicken and broccoli and steamed rice on the side.”

Lo mein, meanwhile, is typically made with egg noodles, which are a better option than traditional white pasta thanks to an extra protein boost from the yolk. Its downside is the sky-high sodium from the soy sauce that the noodles
 are swimming in, but that’s an easy problem to solve. “Ask for the sauce on the side so you control the amount you put on,” advises Agustines, who also suggests getting a version laced with a protein like shrimp or chicken and asking for extra veggies thrown in. “Customizing it is always a smart move.”

Serving size: One order at P.F. Chang's 

Stats of Fried Rice

  • 960 calories
  • 24g protein 
  • 23g sugar
  • 164g carbs 
  • 22g fat

Stats of Lo Mein 

  • 640 calories
  • 21g protein 
  • 26g sugar 
  • 116g carbs 
  • 10g fat

And the winner is...Lo Mein 

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