If you are a fan of thai foods, then you are likely already familiar with the many exciting kinds of dishes that can be enjoyed that fall under the umbrella of Thai cuisine. A question that is commonly asked by consumers is if Thai food is a healthy meal option for them. There are many stereotypes that exist that state that consuming thai food is about as healthy as eating from a fast food restaurant but most of these theories and ideas are unfounded. But how healthy is thai food exactly? Let’s take a closer look:
Trying to classify the healthiness – or unhealthiness- of all thai food under one category is like trying to ask if all American food is good or bad for you. There is not one clear cut answer, because just like standard American fare, choosing to eat at a Thai Restaurant is going to give you a wide range of choices. Some of those choices will be good for you, and some will not, just as eating a cheeseburger or slice of pizza may not be the healthiest option on a menu, there are also items on menus in Thai food restaurants that will have options that will better fit in with a well rounded diet. The difficulty can be in trying to determine what those healthy options are and which ones you want to stay away from.
In order to determine the healthy dishes on your local thai food restaurant;s menu, you must know what kind of healthy you are looking for: Are you trying to eat gluten free or nut and dairy free? Since most thai dishes are made with rice or rice noodles instead of wheat noodles, and authentic thai restaurants do not cook with soy sauce like Chinese restaurants do, which is commonly known as a place for gluten to sneak it’s way onto your plate. If you have a nut or dairy sensitivity, then make sure that you check with the staff as the restaurant, as many dishes do contain nuts, or are prepared near nuts. However, dairy is not often used in the preparation of thai foods. Curry dishes are thickened with coconut milk as opposed to regular dairy milk, and standard thai food doesn’t contain yogurts (like Indian food does_ or cheese (like almost all American dishes.)
If you are looking for dishes that are low in fat or calories, Thai soups are a great option as are most of the salads on the menu, though you should always check the calorie count on the dressing that is provided. Some of the dishes that are not as well known in the mainstream that are also healthier options are any of the curry dishes that are not prepared with coconut milk: look for dishes that have a broth based curry instead, as well as dishes such as chicken satay, which are white chicken that has been grilled and comes with a side of peanut sauce. Peanuts have a higher fat content but it is the ‘good fats’ that your body needs.