Chinese foodWondering about eating Chinese food during pregnancy? Is it safe? The answer is YES, but within reason. Chinese food that’s well-prepared features fish, meats, poultry, and vegetables. They are prepared through a quick stir fry and at the peak of nutrition. However, Chinese food tends to be high in sodium (due to all that soy sauce), high in fat (due to a generous use of oils), and may have MSG.

Most Chinese restaurants will follow a request to prepare your food with no MSG, little to no oil, and with “light” soy sauce. It’s also a good idea to request brown rice, instead of white. Soups and steamed dumplings are good appetizer choices. Dishes that are safe to order have plenty of fish, shellfish, poultry, meat, or tofu, and aren’t just garnished with these high-protein foods.

Try steamed dishes, and don’t add soy sauce. Avoid fried (“crispy”) foods, including egg rolls, sweet and sour dishes, and spareribs. Try to limit how much white rice and white noodles you eat. If you’ve noticed that spicy food gives you heartburn, order your dish “not spicy.”

If you’re a vegetarian, choose tofu or a “mock” meat as both are available and nutritiously prepared. Nutritious vegetables such as broccoli are smart choices.