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Traditional Thai cuisine is quite healthy and includes a good balance of nutrients and health-promoting ingredients, it is mainly based on vegetables, fresh herbs and spices and lean proteins. Most traditional Thai dishes do not use dairy products like butter, cheese, or cream, so it is also a friendly diet for those who want to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
However, not all healthy Thai foods are good for weight loss. Most curry dishes contain coconut milk which are relatively high in calories and fat (although healthy when consumed in moderation). Fried rice or deep-fried spring rolls are also not ideal diet if you want to lose weight. But there are still many Thai foods that can aid your weight loss and here are some of them.
This dish is almost a vegetarian dish with its main ingredient as green, or unripe papaya, mixed with other vegetables like green beans, tomatoes, or carrots and chilies. Proteins like crabs, shrimp or dried shrimp and roasted peanuts are added to the dish, but in a small amount. So, it is good for your diet, but be careful of the sugar added in the Som Tam, you can ask the vendor to reduce the amount or skip it altogether. Try our Som Tam Salad recipe if you want to cook at home.
The classic Thai spicy and sour soup is a healthy pack and low in calories. It is made with a spicy broth, shrimp, and a lot of vegetables and herbs. The soup is rich with vitamins and antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. Also, the chilies and its spiciness are good for weight loss, health experts say that consuming red chilies may help raise your metabolism and aid in burning calories. If you eat out, be careful when you order Tom Yam soup since some restaurants may serve both creamy and clear soups which you can choose without coconut milk or cream. If you cook by yourself, you can check our Tom Yam recipe here.
Summer rolls or Fresh Spring Rolls is low in calories and fat. It features a mix of vegetables like lettuce, carrots, and cucumber, along with noodles and shrimp or chopped pork. It is all wrapped in a rice paper sheet and usually served with a dipping sauce. Some restaurants may have more than one that you can choose but avoid the sweet one. If you are a home cook, why don’t you try our easy Spring Rolls recipe, they are delicious, fresh and gluten-free.
Sua Rong Hai, which in Thai means Weeping Tiger, is a Beef sirloin in a Thai style marinade. As the name of the recipe suggests, this dish is so hot and spicy it can make a tiger weep. But don’t worry, most of spiciness is in the dipping sauce served with the grilled steak, unless you add some chilies to the marinade. A main dish with some protein without too much oil and the chilies that can help you burn calories faster, what’s not to love about it? Learn how to make Sua Rong Hai here.
Satays are skewers of grilled, marinated meat usually served as an appetizer. Choose the chicken satay and you will get a low-fat, high protein dish which is a good way to start your meal. However, the skewers are normally served with sweet Satay sauce usually made with ground roasted peanuts (or peanut butter) and fish or oyster sauce and sugar, so instead of dipping every skewer into the sauce, just put a little on your plate.
We know that salad is good for weight loss, and you can spice up your diet days with a wide list of Thai spicy salads. Thai salads usually use lime juice for the dressing and packed with herbs and spices so it is very healthy in general. You can add any meats of your choice like grilled beef, chicken or seafood.
Steamed fish or seafood is a great choice for your healthy and low-fat diet because they do not use any oil. For traditional Thai cooking, fish or seafood is often steamed with aromatic herbs like ginger, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. There are several types of steamed dishes, some are served with a salty or spicy sauce, while some are steamed with limes, garlics, and lots of chilies.
Larb is a Thai spicy salad made from minced or chopped meat with onions, mints, coriander leaves and chilies. Season with fish sauce and lime juice and top off with ground roasted rice. Choose the chicken meat and you will get a low-fat, rich in protein dish. It is usually served with sticky rice, but you can skip the rice and it is still a satisfying meal.
Thai Dishes to avoid while you are on a diet: