6 ways to eat healthy at a Thai restaurant

June 30, 2015

Thai food has a wonderful array of vegetable-based dishes and healthy tofus. But if you aren't careful, you can load up on oily noodles and deep-fried foods. Here are some tips to keep in mind so you can stay on track with the diet goals that are so important in the battle against diabetes.

6 ways to eat healthy at a Thai restaurant

1. Split some veggies

If you're dining with a friend, order one vegetable dish and one other entrée for the two of you to split.

  • This strategy will give you more vegetables and more variety.
  • Thai food in particular includes a wonderful selection of vegetables, such as bean sprouts, mushrooms, green and red chilies, and snow peas, along with fresh herbs such as lemongrass and basil.

2. Ask for less oil

Even a plate of stir-fried vegetables can contain up to 500 calories, depending on the amount of oil the restaurant uses. Ask them to use less than usual.

3. Choose your soup carefully

Thai restaurants offer tom yum goong (hot and sour soup), as well as vegetable and tofu soups made with clear broth. They're much better bets than soups like tom kha gai (chicken and lemongrass soup made with fatty coconut milk).

4. Avoid coconut milk

Some of the best Thai dishes are the spicy, coconut milk-based curries, like green and massaman curry. As delicious as they are, they contain one of the most fattening ingredients imaginable: coconut milk.

From just 30 millilitres of coconut milk, you'd get six grams of fat, five of which are saturated. And you can be sure that any Thai curry or soup that contains coconut milk contains more than 30 millilitres.

  • Opt instead for jungle curry, which typically doesn't contain coconut milk, or dishes with a garlic-based sauce.

5. Order steamed tofu

Tofu is a popular ingredient in many Asian cuisines. It's an excellent protein source and contains only 183 calories.

  • Try it instead of chicken, beef or pork the next time you're at a Thai restaurant.
  • Just be sure to order it steamed or sautéed, not deep fried, or you'll cancel out the benefits.

6. Skip noodle-based dishes

Though the classic pad Thai noodle dish is one of the most popular and delicious, it's extremely high in calories and fat. A dish of beef pad Thai contains more than 1,300 calories, a whopping 60 grams of fat and 126 grams of carbs.

Dining out

Eating healthy, a crucial habit when you have diabetes, can be tricky when dining out. Try these tips when dinner or lunch is at a Thai restaurant.

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