If you're a fan of Chinese fast food, but worry that it's going to make you the size of a panda, we have good news for you. The nutrition facts for Panda Express are now available on FastFoodNutrition.org!
Just like most fast food restaurants, Panda Express has some food that actually looks to be pretty healthy… and some food that is guaranteed (not really) to make you sprout an additional chin. What we found shocking is that some of the items that we thought would be the healthier options on the menu were actually some of the least healthy.
Generally speaking, brown rice tends to be more nutritious than white rice; it's why we recommend choosing brown rice at Chipotle. However, we were surprised to see that the steamed brown rice at Panda Express has more calories, more fat and more carbs than the steamed white rice. In fact, the brown rice at Panda Express has so many calories, that you could actually save yourself 30 calories by getting a McDouble cheeseburger from McDonalds instead!
If you're looking for a healthy side dish, choose the mixed veggies. Of all the side dishes at Panda Express, it has by far the fewest calories (the next best option has more than 5x as many calories as the mixed veggies!)
Another surprise came from the sauces. The Mandarin Sauce has a whopping 160 calories, more than double the number of calories you'll find in the sweet & sour sauce or the teriyaki sauce. But if you really want to keep things light, either skip the sauce, or stick to soy or hot mustard sauce. Each of those sauces has under 10 calories.
So what about entrees? Well there are a couple you'll want to stay away from. The orange chicken and the sweet & sour chicken both have around 400 calories, but it's the Beijing Beef that takes home the award for most caloric menu option. With 690 calories, the Beijing Beef has more calories than a Whopper from Burger King!
Luckily there are some healthy entrees as well. A few options that are low in calories,fat and carbohydrates are the Broccoli Beef, Mushroom Chicken and Potato Chicken.
So there you have it, you can have your Chinese fast food while eating healthy, you just have to be careful with what you order.
To get the full Panda Express nutrition facts, follow the link below:
Panda Express Nutrition Facts