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10 Tips For Eating Thai Food For Weight Loss at Home or Out
Going for Thai food can be a great way to ensure you have healthy options. However, you know what they say about assuming. It can make what it sort of sounds like when you spell it; an ass out of you and me.
The Good and the Bad Thai food
There are a lot of recipes that are really good at Thai restaurants. There are also a lot that are really high in saturated fats that you would think would be healthy. There generally aren't a lot of desert options at Thai restaurants. You can often just order fruit in syrup and just leave the syrup.
Things to avoid
- Coconut Milk is high in saturated fats. Unless you cook the dish yourself and go for some reduced fat alternatives you may just want to avoid these dishes. A lot of the curries have coconut milk and of course coconut soup has it. Jungle curry is more of a broth based dish with no coconut milk.
- Deep fried items are usually also high in fats. You can go with a healthier fat if you do it at home. At restaurants it is the luck of the draw more of the time. You might ask if they can use a healthier oil, but good luck! Avoid crab rangoon, fried spring rolls or deep fried coconut shrimp.
- Sugary and or Salty Sauces like peanut sauce should be used sparingly. Fortunately a lot of the dressings for salads are made using lime juice and not much sugar. Sauces like sweet Thai chili can be high in sugar. You can make modified versions like the ones in our sauce category. If you use soy sauce, restaurants and grocery stores usually carry a low sodium version. Make sure to look for it. It usually has the green top.
- Stir Fried Noodle Dishes have both a lot of oil and simple carbohydrates which are bad news. Pad Thai is one of the most common and easy to remember dishes, but now that you have read this you can do better.
- White Rice and Noodles can be just as bad as eating sugar. They have a high glycemic index. That means they convert to blood sugar fast which the body can't always handle. It is hard on your pancreas and is often converted to fat. Ask for brown rice or long grain rice. I wrote a whole article on choosing healthier rices you can read here.
Not All Rices are Created Equally When it Comes to Health Value. How to Choose the Healthiest Rice
- Thai Salads as mentioned before often use lime juice for the dressing and can be very healthy in general. If you are eating out pla goong is a safe bet. If you are cooking at home, check out our salad page.
- Grilled Seafood is usually a choice at Thai restaurants and is also easy to make at home. When I was in Thailand this was my go to choice. Not only for the health benefits be because it was less shockingly different. Thai food in Thailand is pretty different than Thai food here.
- Steamed Dishes like steamed mussels and or steamed vegetables are often available and also easy to make at home. I like steamed mussels because they are also so high in protein. Remember, every pound of muscle you put on your body adds 50 calories a day expended at rest.
- Raw Fruits are abundantly available in Thailand and in Thai restaurants and markets. You should ask for lychees, jack fruit, dragon fruit or whatever your favorite is when out at a restaurant. We often do smoothie Saturday at home and never run out of new Thai fruits. See our drink category for ideas.
Cook at home instead of going out
We love entertaining at home. We can show of our culinary skills and friends always feel closer to you when invited into your home. You also save money! When you eat out you are paying for the ambiance and their time cooking. We made a quick guide for the basic principles we use to make any recipe better here. Happy Adventures!
Lloyd Bronson says
I am glad that your article lists several things to avoid when wanting to lose weight, such as the traditional Thai coconut milk which goes into quite a variety of foods. In order to taste a larger variety of foods, my significant other and I are considering getting more varied food when we go out instead of burgers or pizza. I will be sure to take into account the various types of Thai food that may not be the best for my health.