Can you eat general Tso’s chicken when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat general Tso’s chicken when pregnant, the nutritional value of general Tso’s, if you can eat Chinese food when pregnant, can you eat MSG when pregnant, the risk of eating Chinese food, and what healthy diet you should follow when pregnant. 

Can you eat general Tso’s chicken when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat it but in moderation. General Tso’s chicken is one of the unhealthiest plates in Chinese food restaurants. It is high in calories and high in sodium. If you are on a low sodium diet or have gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, or preeclampsia don’t eat it. 

What is the nutritional value of general Tso’s chicken?

30 pieces, 535-grams
Calories1578 calories
Protein69 grams
Fat87 grams
Carbohydrates128 grams
Sugar 62 grams

According to the National Nutrient Database for Standard References, General Tso’s chicken is a high calorie and high-fat food. The USDA states that 30 pieces of General Tso’s chicken provide 500 IU of Vitamin A and a full day’s supply of Niacin. Also, it provides twice the recommendation of Vitamin K and exceeds the DRI of sodium.

Is Chinese food healthy when pregnant?

No, American Chinese food is high-calorie, high fat, and high carbohydrate food. If you are watching your weight, are pregnant, or have any disease that needs you to take care of your food, stay away from Chinese fast food. Look for healthy recipes you can do yourself. 

What is MSG?

MSG is the short word for monosodium glutamate. It is a flavor enhancer that’s been used for years. It is present in some foods naturally but has been used in Chinese recipes, canned vegetables, soups, and other processed goods. 

MSG is a white, odorless, crystal powder. It is dissolved in water and is made by fermenting carbohydrate sources like sugar beet and sugar cane. It has a specific taste known as umami, which can improve the taste of food. 

Can you eat MSG when pregnant?

MSG is generally safe when pregnant. The Food and Drugs Administration says that MSG is safe when pregnant. Our bodies do not differentiate between natural MSG and chemical MSG. 

What is the risk of eating Chinese food when pregnant?

If you have any of these health problems when pregnant you should not eat Chinese food. 

  • Weight gain
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia

Weight Gain

This is a table that can guide you on how much weight you should gain. Weight control when pregnant is very important so you can have a healthy delivery. Just limit your intake of sugar and junk food. 

BMI at beginning of pregnancy (kg/m2)Recommended weight gain during pregnancy (kg)
18.5 underweight12.5 -18.0 kg
18.5 – 24.9 healthy11.15 – 16 kg
25.0 -29.9 overweight7.0 – 11.5 kg
more than 30 overweight5.0 – 9.0 kg

Gestational Diabetes

It is high blood sugar that develops when pregnant and disappears after delivery. It is a state where the body does not respond correctly to insulin. It can cause health problems for pregnant women and the baby. 

If you eat too much Chinese food your glucose can go up and have worsened health effects. If glucose is managed correctly, the risks can be reduced. 

Gestational High blood pressure 

Develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy and usually goes away after 12 weeks of postpartum. If you do not control blood pressure it can lead to low birth weight or preterm birth. You need to watch your sodium intake. 


Develops after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Is a sudden increase in blood pressure, and also includes damage to some organs such as kidneys or liver. It can be serious for mom and baby’s life. You need to limit your sodium intake. 

What diet should I follow when pregnant?

In general, when pregnant you should follow a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. A few nutrients need special attention during pregnancy, like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids. 

  • Ideally, 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day
  • Increase your intake of whole grains and cereal foods. Choose high fiber options
  • Milk, hard cheese, and yogurt are great options because they are high calcium foods.
  • Choose low-fat options and good fats: fats from vegetable sources like almonds, olive oil, and avocado. 
  • Choose lean proteins and choose low mercury fish options. 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Always stay active

Weight gain should be closely monitored because the mother and baby’s health depends on it. 

Can I make general Tso’s healthy?

Yes! Everything is healthier if made at home. Here is a link for Lighter General Tso’s Chicken

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

How to boil chicken breast for a dog?

How to boil chicken breast from frozen?

How to boil chicken drumsticks on the stove?


This article answered the questions: can you eat general Tso’s chicken when pregnant, the nutritional value of general Tso’s, if you can eat Chinese food when pregnant, can you eat MSG when pregnant, the risk of eating Chinese food, and what healthy diet you should follow when pregnant. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.