Best Thai Dishes for your health and weight loss

Thai food is healthy
Thai food is fairly healthy and good for weight loss.

Best Thai Dishes for your health and weight loss

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.

Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)

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.

Tom Yam Soup

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 (Fresh Spring Rolls)

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.

Seua Rong Hai

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.

Chicken Satay

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.

Thai Spicy Salad

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.

Thai seafood

Steamed Fish 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.

Thai chicken larb

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:

  • Coconut Milk: The milk gives a lot of health benefits, such as increasing the levels of HDL cholesterol and may help reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body if consumed in low quantities. It is also a source of healthy fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which several studies show can aid in weight loss by decreasing appetite and increasing energy. However, do not forget that coconut milk is high in fat and calories, so it is better to skip it while you are on a diet or consume it in small amounts. A lot of Thai curries contain coconut milk, as does the coconut soup like Tom Kha Gai so you can avoid these types of dishes.
  • Deep fried: we all know that this type of food is usually high in fat and calories. So avoid deep fried spring rolls, deep fried chicken or Thai fried pork with garlic.
  • Stir Fried Noodle and rice dishes: Most stir-fried noodle and rice dishes contain oil and simple carbohydrates which are bad for weight loss. And sorry for Pad Thai lovers, you have to cross it out from your favorite Thai food while trying to manage your weight loss diet.