No Mystery in Rice Noodle Stir-Fry

Featuring: CHIPOTLE BEEF NOODLE & CHINESE CHORIZO NOODLE

Rice noodles are very common in Asian cuisines because of the fact that rice is grown and produced in most Asian countries. They are more affordable compared to any other kinds of noodles. Rice noodles are essentially made of rice flour, tapioca flour and water. Check the labels, sometimes manufacturers add sodium in the process.

Compared to traditional pasta or egg noodles, rice noodles are gluten-free and, therefore, good for those with celiac disease. MayoClinic.Org defines celiac disease as, “A gluten-sensitive enteropathy, which is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Eating gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine.

And because rice noodles are lower in calories and fat, they are good for weight loss. Sadly, they are also low in fiber. Dietary fibers from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds are nutrients that keep the digestive system healthy.

So, are rice noodles healthy? Well, it all depends on what we cook them with. We can make simple rice noodle dishes as nutritious and healthy as we want them; or turn them into another high-cholesterol, sodium laden, and greasy dish.

It is, therefore, important that rice noodles are incorporated or paired with lots of fresh vegetables and the “right kind” of proteins in stir-fried cooking to add the needed fiber for balanced nutrition. WebMD.com listed 10 good sources of lean protein that we can all use for a healthier diet:

1. Fish
2. Seafood
3. Skin-less white-meat poultry
4. Lean beef (including tenderloin, sirloin, eye of round)
5. Skim or low-fat milk
6. Skim or low-fat yogurt
7.  Fat-free or low-fat cheese
8. Eggs
9. Lean pork (tenderloin)
10. Beans

The most common mistake in Asian cooking is putting too much high-sodium soy sauce, fish sauce or oyster sauce in stir-fried dishes. Undeniably, these sauces can give any dish such a robust umami flavor. But if their sodium content is so high, it could turn any food BAD especially for those on low-sodium diet and people with high-blood pressure and heart diseases.

According to FDA.gov, Despite what many people  think, most dietary sodium (over 70%) comes from eating packaged and prepared foods – not from table salt added to food when cooking or eating.

It takes effort to check the label of pre-packaged sauces for sodium content and see if they agree with your dietary needs or medical condition. Remember, the health benefits are always worth the effort.

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