Read the following article and find out more about Thai food nutritional info and the ways of finding out healthy Thai food…
The savory recipes and harmony of tastes of Thai food makes it one of the irresistible food cultures even for the Western palate. Thai food is the perfect blend of age-old Thai cooking traditions, food cultures of its neighboring countries like China, India, Burma, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, and other rich food cultures like Dutch, Portuguese and French. According to Thai culinary principle, balance and infusion of tastes is crucial. It is the reason why all the Thai food recipes are served with foods that balance out taste of the entire menu. Authentic Thai menu contains a great balance of fish, herbs, vegetables and spices. Most importantly, Thai food is a food culture that contains lots of fibers, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals with limited or restricted quantities of animal fats and protein sources. Ample usage of local Thai vegetables and herbs make it a rich and flavorful delight with a little space for worry about its nutrition. Well, not exactly! You may need to worry a little about Thai food nutrition facts, if you have been eating variants of healthy and authentic Thai foods which is available in the local oriental joints.
Thai Food Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Traditional cooking methods like baking, stewing, steaming and grilling which are used for preparing Thai food, are some of the best culinary methods as compared to stir frying and deep frying. As a result, traditional Thai food is cooked quickly with the original colors of the food ingredients intact. You can feel the freshness of vegetables and aroma of the Thai herbs and spices that are used in the authentic Thai food. Proper Thai recipes are incomplete without herbs like turmeric, galangal, coconut, coriander, and lemongrass. All these ingredients have their own health benefits which add up to the nutritional value of Thai food. Thai dishes are also rich with a lot of green vegetables, fruits, grains and healthy seafood. Although other sources of protein like beef are found in some Thai dishes, but it is always overpowered with large number of healthy ingredients. Here are the basic ingredients that complete the Thai menu.
Irreplaceable part of oriental cuisine, noodles is an important section of Thai food. Noodles is the basic commodity in the Thai eating culture which is combined with curry dishes and seafood. Thai cuisine contains rice noodles that are beneficial for immune system. Traces of protein, carbohydrates, manganese and selenium in rice noodles make them healthy food source with plenty of calories. Egg noodles on the other hand contain protein, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids make them healthy. However, understand the fact that both these types of Thai noodles could be high on calories and cholesterol, respectively.
Another irreplaceable part of Asian cuisine, rice is an important cereal in the Thai food culture. As a result, one cannot reach the conclusion on nutrition info without learning more about importance of rice in Thai cuisine. Thai people eat rice throughout the day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. White rice which is dominantly used in Thai food is a rich source of both carbohydrates and calories. However, it is also a healthy source of selenium, manganese and antioxidants.
The best thing about healthy Thai food is the sparing usage of healthy seafood varieties like squids, lobsters, scallops, etc. As a result, you will definitely get ample amounts of fatty acids and as a result a healthy cardiovascular system. However, you may have to watch out for source of sea food because of water pollution and the chance of mercury poisoning because of it.
Thai herbs and spices are the trademark of Thai food. Herbs and spices like turmeric, galangal or Thai ginger, coconut, lemongrass, and coriander along with cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, etc make Thai food a rich and tasty food treat. Along with enhancing the flavor, these herbs and spices also provide ample health effects by increasing immunity.
If you have noticed, Thai food largely contains green and leafy vegetables that are in blanched or steamed form. They also include bamboo shoots, mushrooms, Thai chili peppers, bean sprouts, edible green algae, etc in their regular dishes. Hence, Thai dishes are a rich source of fibers, antioxidants and vitamins. Fruits like papaya, star fruit, pineapple and tamarind on the other hand decrease possibility of many diseases like cancer, diabetes, strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
Importance of Making Healthy Thai Food Choices
Is Thai food healthy for every one? Although Thai food is touted to be extremely healthy, it is important to understand that every coin has two sides. Thai food certainly is a rich ethnic food with the least number of adverse effects. Whether you benefit from it or not largely depends on the kind of food choices that we make and the places where we tend to eat the Thai food. Authentic Thai food recipes that are prepared by using the best of cooking methods are definitely healthy for us, but the kind of foods that we typically order in the local restaurants and East Asian food joints may not be so healthy. Let me explain! Most of the time, we tend to order pad Thai, spring rolls, heavy curries, spicy soups like tom yam gung, etc. Here are a few examples of some of the most popular and equally high calorie Thai dishes:
For most of us, Thai food starts and ends up with pad Thai. The meaning of pad Thai is Thai fried noodles, and the dish contains eggs, fish sauce, stir fried noodles, peppers and bean sprouts. Additionally, pad Thai is served with peanuts, and shrimp. As a result, this dish can be the best example of high amount of calories in Thai food. Restaurant version of pad Thai contains as many as 600 calories!
Por Pia Tord
Por Pia Tord is a popular version of Thai spring rolls, which is made using shrimp, cilantro, carrots, cucumber, lettuce which are wrapped in rice paper. Por Pia Tord is served with soy sauce or mirin and ginger. One Por Pia Tord contains around 60 calories and experts say that restaurant versions may contain more.
Kang Keaw Wan Kai
Everyone’s favorite, Thai curry which is made using onions, lemongrass, peppers, cardamom, coriander, star anise, shrimp paste, cumin, cassia, etc rich herbs and seafood, is actually a very high calorie Thai dish. Kang Keaw Wan Kai is made using chicken, fish sauces and a lot of coconut milk. According to the available data, Kang Keaw Wan Kai contains around 475 calories excluding the calories of white rice, with which it is typically served.
Thai Food Nutrition Chart
|Thai Food Dish||Calories|
|1 serving of Phad Ka Prao (stir fried basil)||154|
|1 serving of Phad Kra-prao Moo (Stir fried pork and basil leaves)||157|
|1 serving of Phad Kuichai Kung (stir fried Chinese leek and prawns)||124|
|1 serving of Phad Pak Kanah Nammunhoi (stir fried fish and oyster sauce)||312|
|1 serving of Pla Manow (fish and lemon sauce)||400|
|1 serving of Sai Oua (Northern Thai sausage)||362|
|1 serving of Som Loy Geow (oranges in syrup)||210|
|1 serving of Yam Talay (seafood salad w/o dressing)||150|
|1 Fish Cake||50|
|1 serving of Gang Ped Bhed Yang (duck curry)||540|
|1 serving of Fresh Pineapple Dessert||70|
|½ bowl of Kaeng Choed Fug Khiao Kai (wax gourd chicken soup)||110|
|1 bowl of Gai Tome Ke (Chicken, Coconut, galangel soup)||110|
|½ bowl of Kaeng Choed Fug Toon Hed-hom (wax gourd shiitake mushroom soup||81|
|½ bowl of Kaeng Kari Kai (Thai chicken curry||125|
|1 serving of Kaow Neaw Dum Peak Peuk (black sticky rice pudding with taro||141|
|1 serving of Kow Neuw Mamuang (mangoes with sticky rice)||670|
|1 serving of Mara Toon Hed-hom (bitter gourd shiitake mushroom soup)||60|
|1 serving of Moo Pad King||310|
|1 serving of Moo Satay||420|
|1 serving of Nomai Pad Kai (bamboo shoots and pork)||370|
|1 serving of Phad Hed Sam-si (stir fried 3 colors mushroom)||100|
Nutrition it is extremely important to make right and healthy Thai food choices. As I said earlier, if you want to eat Thai food, make sure that it is rather grilled, steamed or stewed, rather than stir fried or deep-fried. Limited consumption and sharing one Thai dish with two or three other individuals will definitely cut back on the calorie count of Thai food.