February 18, 2019

Is Thai food healthy?

Believe it or not, Thai cuisine could have the healthiest alternatives that you can ever have. Besides, some Thai dishes are under different scientific studies for their health benefits.

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The ingredients like turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, coriander, and chillies are much used in Thai cuisine which all have benefits for a human body’s immune system and fighting with diseases. Thai recipes are based on fresh ingredients, especially vegetables and meat. That is how it remains as healthy among all cuisines.

If you are currently chasing healthy options in Thai cuisine, you should consider having foods like som tam (papaya salad), tom yum goong (hot & sour shrimp soup), kaeng liang (vegetable soup), khao man gai (chicken & rice), and dishes like these since the percentage of protein, carbs, fiber, and other nutritional values are acceptable. When ordering food online or at a restaurant, just be careful about the sauces, stay away from fried items and you’ll be good.

A popular and well-consumed stir-fried noodle dish, the Pad Thai, is made from fresh ingredients like the rest of the cuisine. However it has less nutritional benefits than others, and if you would like to eat a healthy meal, you should skip this one. It is commonly served in restaurants and street eateries. This traditional dish has its place several times on top lists based on taste. Except for the noodles, the main ingredients are eggs, fish sauce, tofu/shrimp/crab/chicken, garlic/shallots, and palm sugar. It is usually served along with red chilli pepper, lime, and roasted peanuts. Also, the dish may contain vegetables like bean sprouts, radish or turnips as well.

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Red curry vs. green curry

Which Thai curry is better? Red or green? Well, it depends on anyone's taste. The decision is yours… Green curry takes its name from green chillies, and this curry has “sweat green” colour according to Thai people. The ingredients might not be the same every time you have it. However, the most preferred ones are coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai basil. It is usually eaten with rice, rice noodles or simmered beef.

Red curry is also known as spicy because it is based on red chillies. The paste is cooked in coconut milk along with meat like chicken, beef, pork, duck or shrimp. Also can be cooked with tofu as a vegetarian option.

Vegetarianism

To be honest, finding vegetarian food in Thailand is not easy. However, the Vegetarian Festival is celebrated each year and during this period many restaurants and cafes provide vegetarian food more than usual, special for this occasion. Traditional Thai curries include ingredients like shrimp paste and fish sauce but of course, those kinds of items are replaced for vegetarian alternatives.

If you are a vegetarian and looking for a place to eat in Thailand, you can look around for the typical vegetarian sign first. It is recognized as a yellow sign with a word written in red and in Thai alphabet, che or ahan che. Since the demand for vegetarian food is rapidly increasing, restaurants with this specific sign have started to offer vegetarian versions of traditional Thai dishes at the same time. For example, a colourful salad with deep-fried bananas can easily fulfil a vegetarian’s stomach.

Since the cuisine sometimes use ingredients which are high in carbs (such as rice or noodles) we cannot say the cuisine is 100% keto-friendly. But at the same time, it has low-carb ingredients (vegetables) as well. If you are on a gluten-free diet, many alternatives can be spread over you such as coconut brown rice, chicken satay, shrimp lettuce wraps, chicken pad thai, and more. You may enjoy consuming roasted spicy peas as a snack or coconut pudding cake as a dessert.

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Why Thai food is the best?

Actually, Thai cuisine had proved its richness and quality for some years ago. Hundreds of culinary tours and cooking courses are taken place in Thailand. Many chefs and the cuisine itself got different awards around the world. Also, in the 2000s, three restaurants have received the famous Michelin stars. They are all based on Thai cuisine, however, they owned by non-Thai people. These restaurants are located in London, Copenhagen, and New York City.

If you would like to order Thai food online and delivered to you, Smartbite is here for you!

If you would like to read more about Thai cuisine, please click here.