Sunday, May 26, 2024

Healthier Asian Cuisine

While it’s a known fact that people in Asian cultures stay slim and live the longest, it is also a fact that the American version of Asian food may yield the opposite effect. If you’re craving sushi, Thai or Chinese food, here are my tops tips for indulging in these typically sodium-filled oriental dishes.


If you want to eat clean, then steer clear of anything with tempura or mayo in sushi rolls. Those words simply translate to high calories and high fat.

Green Goddess Sushi: I like to order an avocado and cucumber roll in brown rice and the Vegi-Vegi Roll at Lemongrass (101 Plaza Real S.). The former, wrapped in potassium-rich cucumber, is one of the lightest meals on the menu.

Z-TIP: If you’re eating raw fish, make sure to dip it into soy sauce and have a generous amount of wasabi with it. Those two ingredients can help kill bacteria and parasites.


For Thai-food lovers, one of my top Green Goddess-approved meals is papaya salad. Papaya is knows for its high concentration of enzymes that can help digest fats and aid with assimilation and weight loss.

My second favorite healthy Thai dish is a vegetable curry. I prefer to skip the tofu, unless it’s organic, and load the dish up with extra vegetables. Besides the delicious flavor, curry dishes are rich in inflammation-fighting turmeric that has been shown to help reverse Alzheimer’s disease.

Z-TIP: If you choose to go with the curry, opt for waist-trimming steamed brown rice, which has extra fiber unlike white rice.


Chinese food has been getting a bad rep due to high-calorie dishes like General Tso’s Chicken and Pork Fried Rice. Despite this not-so-healthy fare, you can find plenty of dishes that are low in calories and high in taste. One of the easy restaurants for healthier Chinese food is the famous P.F. Chang’s (1400 Glades Road).

When I eat here, I usually order the low-calorie Steamed Buddha Feast, which is loaded with heart-healthy veggies. For those who eat seafood, check out the “Delightful Dishes” menu that has a variety of light seafood options.

One of the best things I like about P.F. Chang’s is that they have an extensive nutritional chart, so you can check what each dish offers. Another bonus is that they have a separate gluten-free menu, so those avoiding wheat, barley or rye can rest assured they will be eating clean.

Alina Z.
Alina Z.
Alina Z., aka “The Green Goddess,” is a certified holistic health coach, detox specialist and raw-food chef (she conducts occasional classes at Whole Foods in Boca). Prior to moving to Florida, Alina hosted her own TV show in Maryland—“Entertaining A to Z”—for people who didn’t have time to cook but wanted to eat healthy. Catch one of her web episodes at, visit Alina’s website at, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. The Green Goddess blog runs every other Wednesday at

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