How to Diet on a Thailand Vacation

What to eat and what to avoid in Thailand

One of the biggest attraction in Thailand is undoubtedly the food that is available in this tropical paradise, also known as the “Land of Smiles”. The last thing that you want on your vacation is feeling guilty about your ideal weight and spoiling your holiday by denying your self of these delicious offerings that will only cost you a few cents in many cases. The great news that is that as a general rule, Thai food is very healthy for you and there are only a few dishes to be careful of in your battle of the holiday bulge.

Thais are addicted to sugar, so much so that it is pathetic actually. Secondly the common cooking oil is the local cheap palm oil that has more than 8 times the calories of virgin olive oil, after saying that, it is very easy to avoid in Thailand. You have to decide which camp you want to avoid the most, fatty oil or the hideous excessive fructose in table sugar.

Thai_Seafood_Curry

Public Domain

The bad news is that coconut milk is meant to be on the “no-go” list, and it is a key ingredient in many of the tasty Thai curries. Denying yourself of these delicious dishes is nothing short of stupidity while in Thailand exploring its wonders and cultural delights. The “safest” famous coconut milk curry is one of the best, Thai Green Curry, locally known as “Kaeng Ka Wan”. It does have coconut milk which many people frown upon, how ever it is low in sugar and is very high in fiber which is fantastic in every bodies opinion. You can choose other water and herb based Thai curies that are delicious, many of these may be labeled as soups when translated into English, but do not discount them.

Some famous healthy noodle soups of note are “Tom Yam Goong”, which is refreshingly sour in many ways and “Goong” being prawns, which Thailand is one of the major suppliers of in the world. Prawns are cheap as chips in Thailand, actually cheaper than chips in Chanthaburi where there are many prawn farms ! When ordering noodles, you often have a watery or dry version, get the wet one that is served in a broth. The dry noodles have lots of fat added, this stops them becoming a sticky mess and should be avoided. A clear soup that is mixed with vegetables is called Gaeng Jued, apart from the high salt content, it is great diet food. You should avoid the fat flat white noodles that is common in Pad Sea-eal and the yellow egg noodles, both are extremely fattening, maybe that is why they taste great!

Go for seafood, it is incredibly cheap in Thailand, fish are easy to source that are steamed, the only down side is that they are often served as whole fish, so you may wish to share your meal with a new found friend. Barbecued Seafood is also very common, if you have cholesterol issues you may to to learn about crabs, prawns and squid as I believe there may be negative issues for you that you should be aware of. In Thailand, you can not avoid rice, choose steamed rice over fried rice, (commonly known as “Flied Lice” and if you can get it, ask for brown rice, however I wish you the best of luck there. Thais don’t care about the fiber benefit of brown rice, it has a negative stigma as many Thais believe that only peasants and criminals eat brown rice. Chicken rice is a sure one to avid at all cost, it is cooked with saturated chicken fat.

Thai sweets are full of sugar, coconut milk or even based on egg yolks. One unique fruit that is very fattening, but in a nice kind of way is the Durian. The is the yellow flesh of the spikey fruit the size of a football that is banned in nearly all hotels in Thailand.

Pad Thai Noodles

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit via a clickable link.  Learn about Creative Commons.