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Is Thai Food Healthy?

Rutuja Jathar Dec 12, 2018
How healthy is Thai food? This is one of the biggest questions that lingers in the minds of many health conscious people who love this cuisine. Read the given information to discover the answer to this question and also to resolve your other queries regarding Thai cuisine.
Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the whole world. It is savored for the perfect aroma and smack of its various dishes. It is a perfect blend of its neighboring regions like India and China, which also tend to satisfy the Western palate. No wonder why it is so popular then!
Similar to various types of Asian cuisine, Thai food mainly includes rice and noodles.
Apart from rice, it also includes numerous savory fish recipes, vegetables, herbs and spices, that bring a salty, saucy, and sour flavor to it. Frankly speaking, the health benefits entirely depend on the kind of recipes that you consume.

Important Facts

Harmony of taste is the basic principle of Thai food. Hence, remember that recipes like Tom Yum soup, chili hot chicken, fish cakes and Phad ka Prao are all made with the utmost balance of ingredients and flavor.
First, we need to understand that Thai food doesn't contain big meat chunks and large animals. The meat that is included is fortified and shredded, along with various herbs and healthy vegetables. This fact makes it all the more healthy and tempting.
Secondly, authentic recipes are prepared with some of the best cooking methods like stewing, grilling, and baking, which require the least amount of oil, and hence they preserve the food's nutrition to the fullest.
It also means that other cooking methods like frying, deep frying, and stir frying were introduced to this area by foreign countries like China and Japan. Thai food is also hugely influenced by Dutch, French, and Portuguese cuisine and other nearby Asian regions like Vietnam, Burma, Malaysia, and Laos.

Thai Food Menu

It is essential for you to know some facts about Thai food. It contains fish cake which is made of ground fish patties, ground shrimp, and curry paste.
You will also find the steamed dumplings that consist of ground lean meats of pork and shrimp, along with some local herbs and spices.
Pad Thai is one of the most popular authentic dishes. It is a noodle based dish of shrimp, eggs, green onions, bean sprouts, peanuts, and dried tofu. This dish is rich with various healthy vegetables and herbs along with healthy meats.
Typical Thai food consists of soups and curries that are treated with various condiments. The best thing about it is that the dishes are very well-balanced. A very spicy dish is usually paired with a relatively bland dish, so that the ill effects of consuming too much spicy food are avoided.
Hence, every time you enter a Thai restaurant, make sure that you order dishes that retain the same balance of all the tastes like spicy, salty, sour, sweet, and bitter.

Is Thai Food Good for You?

The amount of calories in Thai food is an issue that many people are always dubious about. The authentic cuisine is extremely healthy since it includes some of the most healthy cooking methods. The recipes also contains some medicinal and low calorie additives and condiments.
Turmeric: It contains curcumin as its active ingredient, which has some great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
As a result, it is beneficial for various health conditions like arthritis, food allergy, intoxication, low platelet count in blood, loss of appetite, indigestion, hearth diseases, bacterial infections, long-lasting wounds, etc.
Galangal: It is nothing but Thai ginger, which is yet unknown to the Western world. Galangal is a prime ingredient in Chinese, Indonesian, and Thai food.
Similar to the regular ginger root, galangal is a powerful herb for our body and it is beneficial for health conditions like, abdominal cramps, indigestion, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, sea sickness, diarrhea, inflammatory diseases, ulcers, and lack of blood circulation in hands and feet.
Coriander: Like most of the Asian cooking styles, Thai food also utilizes coriander in its two forms, namely - fresh coriander leaves and coriander seeds.
Coriander leaves and seeds have been used in various parts of the world like Greece, Rome, China, India, and Europe since ancient times. Coriander is beneficial for the following health conditions - gastrointestinal diseases, indigestion, fungal infections, bacterial infections, loss of appetite, lack of energy, etc.
Coconut: Coconut milk and coconut oil which are essential ingredients of Thai food, contain a good amount of healthy fats that help to reduce cholesterol levels and the rate of aging. It boosts immunity, increases the rate of metabolism and provides essential fatty acids to the body.
Lemongrass: It is a fragrant herb, that plays an important part in Thai cuisine. It is beneficial for the health conditions like cold and flu, headache, fever, stomach pain, abdominal cramps, fungal infections, arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases.

Healthy Choices

Instead of the spring rolls and dumplings, opt for a healthy Tom Yum soup which includes shrimp, mushrooms and other herbs that are simmered in hot-n-sour broth. Instead of Pad Thai recipes, opt for sautéed shrimp with herbs. Rather than a heavy curry dish, opt for the sautéed shrimp and scallops with mushrooms and vegetables like zucchini and some herbs.
Instead of deep-fried fish with sweet-n-sour sauce, opt for steamed mussels with garlic and herb sauce. Do not opt for Thai vegetable fried rice and egg fried rice, rather opt for sautéed mixed vegetables.
Also avoid the bean thread noodles, as they are high on carbohydrate count. Always request a curry that doesn't contain potatoes. Dishes that include oyster sauce and sweet-n-sour sauce, should always be consumed in moderation.
Limiting the amount of rice and noodles and consuming any Thai dish in moderation are also the best things that you can do to stay healthy and fit!