The Reason You Should Avoid Mushroom Chicken At Panda Express

As with most foodies, odds are you probably have a loyal Chinese food spot that's your absolute favorite go-to when you're craving fried rice or orange chicken. But if your favorite spot doesn't have a chain of locations throughout the city or area you live in, then you might just have to resort to branching out and tasting other not-so-special places, like Panda Express. 

With over 2,000 locations across the country, Panda Express has easily become an accessible restaurant for many, but it's no secret that most diners have grown to have a love/hate relationship with the famed Panda establishment. Granted, Panda Express serves up fast, delicious, and at times crave-worthy food (have you tried their orange chicken?), but how good, or shall we say healthy, is the rest of the food there, especially crowd favorite dishes like the mushroom chicken.

When you walk into the panda decorated restaurant, the aromas of numerous appetizing smells quickly greet you at the door. It's almost impossible to avoid drooling at the sight of entrees that range from chicken to shrimp, and everything in between. But if you're one who opts to fill their plate with the mushroom chicken, you might want to rethink that.

The mushroom chicken has an unimpressive amount of sodium

Served with mushrooms and zucchini, and tossed in a light ginger soy sauce, what sounds like an epic combination can at best be described for its subtleness and mushy mushrooms, according to Thrillist. Doesn't sound all that appetizing, does it? If you're looking to send your taste buds on an adventure of culinary delight, you most likely won't find it in this dish as the mushroom chicken may just be one of the more boring options throughout the entire Panda Express menu.

But what of the health benefits? With only 220 calories, the dish might sound like a great option in theory, especially since it contains chicken and veggies. Well, here's where things get complicated. Although the dish is low in calories, it is, however, packed with sodium. A whopping 840 milligrams of sodium are scattered throughout each serving, meaning the dish's sodium content is comparable to that of five servings of Lay's potato chips.

Turns out the mushroom chicken isn't as healthy as you may have once thought. But if you can't leave this dish alone, just remember that those 840 milligrams of sodium will leave you with 1,460 milligrams left to consume the rest of the day, according to the FDA's recommendation of 2,300 milligrams (aka one teaspoon). Is it worth the sacrifice? We don't think so.