Geetika Bajaj, a nutritionist and lifestyle management consultant, has offered insights into making chicken fried rice a healthier option.

Treating yourself to your favorite foods can boost your mood and bring joy, as experienced by Malaika Arora, who enjoyed a flavorful plate of chicken fried rice.

But, is this a healthy choice?

Clinical dietitian Garima Goyal suggests that despite its undeniable deliciousness, chicken fried rice with chili oil is far from being a healthy option.

  • The use of soy sauce significantly increases the sodium content of fried rice, and the frying process adds extra calories.
  • Other ingredients commonly used in Chinese-style fried rice are also high in sodium, elevating the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Excessive chili oil can be detrimental to the digestive system, causing discomfort like acid reflux, heartburn, and diarrhea.
  • The liberal use of oil for sautéing vegetables and rice increases the calorie density of the dish, contributing to weight gain.
  • The dish can raise cholesterol levels due to trans fats formed during frying.
  • Overconsumption, especially with white rice, can lead to elevated blood sugar levels in diabetics.
  • Despite the presence of quality protein and vegetables, the high-heat stir-frying process may lead to nutrient loss.

In some cases, ingredients in soy or chili sauce can trigger allergic reactions.

Geetika Bajaj, a nutritionist and lifestyle management consultant, suggests several adjustments to make fried rice a healthier option:

  • Substitute chili oil with fresh green chilies for a lighter and healthier option.
  • Use cold rice or overnight refrigerated white or brown rice, which increases resistant starch content. This promotes gut health by supporting the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.
  • Incorporate a variety of vegetables such as chopped cabbage, carrots, peas, spring onions, and broccoli florets to enhance the dish’s fiber content.
  • Opt for sesame oil with unsaturated fats over refined oil, using a minimal amount.
  • To reduce calorie intake and fat content, consider combining 50% rice with 50% cauliflower rice.
  • Boil eggs and chicken instead of frying them to make the dish even healthier.

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