Sunday, June 24, 2012

Culture Shock 3: Chinese Food is Healthy...NOT

A common explanation as to why Chinese and other Asians are skinny is because their food is healthy.
Although this might be partially true, I think it is more false than true. Because I believe there are many biological and social explanations as to why most are skinny.
There are no fortune cookies in China BTW

Below are some of the reasons why I think Chinese food is NOT as healthy as it is thought to be and eating it can make you FAT.

1. Practically Everything is stir-fried and often with too much oil. I've had to pour out as much as 1/2 a cup (125ML) of oil out of my food.

2. They eat fat, because it's believed to be good for the skin. I guess this explains why many don't use lotion. I usually have to remove fat off my meat which often times leaves not much meat, so I end up eating the fat, and then feel fat after eating it. :(

3. Primary meat is pork: Most dishes are served with pork, which explains "why they walk so slow" according to a Nigerian friend of mine. lol!

4. Portion sizes are HUGE! This was a big culture shock to me because I have never seen serving bowls that huge on dinning tables, unless its at a big event. Also, I would expect portion sizes to be smaller since there are more mouth to feed. These excess food often goes to waste because it is just impossible for people to finish them. Especially if they are served to a group of girls who are "watching" their weight because they think they are fat. So it makes me wonder why they don't reduce food portion to reasonable sizes, also since people often order multiple dishes

5. Staple food is Starch: depending on what part of the country you are from, your main food will be either rice, noodles or bread. It's not uncommon for many Chinese to eat rice three times a day everyday. Although they eat a very small portion of it with lots of meat and veggies as side dishes

6. Food is cheap and abundant: Thanks to advancement in science and technology, most Chinese can now enjoy a variety of food from all parts of the country and globe, and they can have it in abundance. Just about 30years ago, China was like North Korea where many thousands were dying of starvation. May be this is why portion sizes are so large, because the older generations are trying to catch up on eating???

7. They eat too much: Because many can still remember what it feels like to be Hungry, they will often go all out at restaurants to show how far they've come and also to ensure everyone has enough to eat. See Chinese eat in a communal style where several dishes of foods are shared amongst many people.But back in the day where people didn't have enough to eat, this means siblings had to have a "eating race" during every meal. This is when the older and often faster eater with a bigger appetite will "out eat" the younger and slower ones. I guess this explains why many Chinese can eat while the food is hot and also eat fast.

I think this communal eating style is a huge sabotage to one's weight. Depending on how big a group is and what the occassion is, one can have about 15 different dishes on the table for. These 15 dishes can include pork, chicken, beef, lamb, fish, potatoes, noodles, bread, rice, sweet potatoes, and assorted veggies. It's only in China that I started eating all these foods together in one meal.  Also because you just eat a little bit from each plate, you don't really know how much you've eaten until you suddenly realize you've had too much.

It's common for girls to gain weight when they come to China while the men loose weight (mostly muscle mass). I was one of these girls, but I lost all these weight when I stopped eating like the Chinese and started cooking my own food. Because, I realized I would need the special gene they have that allows them to eat a lot and stay skinny.


JenJen said...

Interesting post. When are you leaving China?

Lishylikes said...

but the food is very delicious! haha i want their special gene too. do you know why some have oily skin yet they don't get pimples?! they have flawless skin! must be another nice gene of thiers

~Adeola~ said...

I leave end of July! :)