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By Maggie Zhu

Maggie Zhu is the author of The Chinese Stir Fry Sauce Cookbook and the owner of Omnivore’s Cookbook since 2013. Her passion is sharing modern Chinese recipes that teach you how to cook better food with a less labor-intensive approach. Her website was featured by Yahoo News as one of the seven food blogs you should be following for Asian cuisine. She is originally from Beijing, and now cooks from her Austin, Texas kitchen.

Do you love Chinese food? Making it yourself at home not only saves you money, but it’s also way better for your health. Chinese dishes are filled with fresh vegetables, making them a great choice for eating right while keeping your palate excited for fresh new flavors. Here are more reasons why you should make Chinese food at home for a healthier choice.

1. Chinese cooking primarily relies on peanut oil
Did you know that peanut oil is healthy? It’s true. It’s naturally free of trans fats and cholesterol. It has high amounts of monounsaturated fat, just like olive oil. This makes a ton of sense when you look at the majority of Chinese people. They don’t suffer the same obesity problems Americans do because they use peanut oil when they cook. Keep this on-hand in your kitchen for stir-frying and sautéing in a healthier way.

2. You can control the amount of oil too
Even though peanut oil is a healthy choice, you can have too much of a good thing. In restaurants, they can pour the oil in a heavy-handed way, but at home, you can use less oil to make your Chinese dishes even more healthful.

3. Vegetables are always present
The next time you go out for Chinese food or even order takeout, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a dish that doesn’t have vegetables. You’ll also notice that there are many dishes that are vegetarian. This isn’t just to please the non-meat-eating crowd out there. These are some of the most popular dishes in China.

4. Food has healing powers
There’s a reason why Chinese medicine relies on many herbs, fruits and vegetables for healing purposes. You can trace this back to the old adage of “you are what you eat.” Bring more of that healing power into your kitchen by cooking the way the Chinese do. A prime example of this is to use ginger root. Ginger root is outstanding for reducing inflammation and quelling stomach issues. In China, you can walk into any home at random and it will be one of the things you’ll be sure to find in the kitchen!

5. Soups are part of the plan
If you love wonton soup, hot and sour soup, or even egg drop soup, you’ll be happy to know that in China, soup is something that’s part of every meal. In fact, if you don’t serve it over there, you’ll be met with disappointed stares. You might think that your local Chinese restaurant is offering you a cup or bowl of soup with your meal to give you a great value so you’ll keep coming back, but the truth is that in China, soup is a standard that should be upheld and served at every meal. Plus, Chinese soups are easy to make and robust. They fill you up and prevent you from overeating.

6. Cut calories even more
One thing to keep in mind about the Chinese food you get at Chinese restaurants in America is that they pander to the American palate. True that you’ll find some of the same things there, you’ll be surprised in China by what real Chinese food is. That being said, you can make your own eggrolls in the oven without frying them, steam your own dumplings and make your own sauces to have full control of the ingredients you use so that you can make your Chinese meals even healthier.

And finally, if you really want to eat more healthfully in a Chinese way, consider eating as the Chinese do by taking your time and grazing during your meal. Meals in China are never rushed. They are ...    Continue

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