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The Top Swap at Panda Express

Enjoy a low-calorie meal from the Panda Express menu without sacrificing flavor.

Oddly enough, it's not the wok-fried meat or the viscous sauces that do the most harm on the Panda Express menu — it's the more than 400 calories of rice and noodles that form the foundation of each meal. Scrape these starches from the plate, and Panda Express starts to look a lot healthier. Only one entrée item has more than 500 calories, and there's hardly a trans fat on the menu. Problems arise when multiple entrées and sides start piling up on one plate, though, so bring some self-restraint to the table.

Eat This

Kung Pao Chicken Entrée with Steamed Rice and Mixed Veggies

Calories 690
Fat 18.5 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Sodium 1,450 mg

Not That!

Orange Chicken Entrée with Chow Mein

Calories 910
Fat 40 g
Saturated Fat 7.5 g
Sodium 1,600 mg

All of the non-breaded chicken entrées on the Panda Express menu are fair game. Pairing them with a rice-and-vegetable combo makes for a respectable meal, but if you ditch the rice altogether and go straight veggies, you'll save an extra 155 calories. And never go all starch for your side. The Chow Mein contributes more than half of this plate's calories, and the Orange Chicken's crispy breading and sugary sauce finish it off.

Eat This, Not That!
Inspired by The New York Times best-selling book series, Eat This, Not That! is a brand that's comprised of an award-winning team of journalists and board-certified experts, doctors, nutritionists, chefs, personal trainers, and dietitians who work together to bring you accurate, timely, informative, and actionable content on food, nutrition, dieting, weight loss, health, wellness, and more. Read more about Eat This