Healthy Thai dishes for those looking to lose a few kilos
For those who spend any large amount of time here in Pattaya it can take a toll on the body, with so many fun activities the majority of which include alcohol it’s easy to start putting on a few pounds as inevitably a few beers normally always ends up with some sort of take-away at the end of the night, which on top of the beer doesn’t help the waistline. So we thought we would make your life a little easier and provide a list of Thai dishes which are good for those who want to watch their weight and a few general tips for dishes to perhaps avoid or eat less of.
Ok so the list of the following foods are some of the more healthy of the many amazing dishes Thailand has to offer. Please keep in mind prices mentioned are only approximations and can vary greatly depending on where you eat.
Chicken and Rice (Khao Man Gai)
This is a very basic dish which can be picked up from many street food stalls from around 30-70 baht depending where you are, this dish itself is as the name suggests very simple being a sliced up chicken breast, steamed rice and normally a few local vegetables, a small portion of soup and some chili sauce. The dish provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrate and unlike so many other Thai dishes it’s not loaded with sugar or salt. If you can handle the heat add plenty of chili as tests have proven chilies are packed with capsaicin which helps to reduce cholesterol levels and raise your metabolic rate which is the rate in which you burn calories. This dish is particularly popular with Thai Muay Thai fighters and they always seem to be in pretty good shape.
Poached Fish with Lime (Pla Nueng Manao)
The fish is normally either steamed or boiled and served in a spicy lime sauce. The dish is low in carbohydrates and high in lean protein. Again having it as spicy as you can brings all the health benefits from the chilies. The price varies depending on the size of the portion but for a 1 person serving can be picked up for a little over 100 baht. This dish makes an ideal evening meal.
Papaya Salad (Som Tam)
A dish that many of you will have probably seen a vast majority of the bar girls eating here in Pattaya is Som Tam. Contrary to popular belief Som Tam is actually very healthy as long as you don’t load it up with sugar and salt. So what exactly is it? The dish is made up of diced papaya, beans, tomatoes, chilies, fish sauce and usually either fish or prawns, but the dish varies from stall to stall. Again if you can handle the heat you get all the health benefits from the chilies but the dish is also high in vitamin C and low in calories and can be picked up from anywhere around the 35 baht mark per serving.
Seafood salad (Yam Talay)
Sticking with the Thai salads for the moment the next dish is seafood salad. The dish usually contains prawns squid or fish or a combination of the three in some of the more pricy restaurants, in a sweet and sour fish based sauce with vegetables including tomatoes, beans and cabbage. Again this is a low carb dish with plenty of protein and relatively low calorie count. Prices vary widely for this dish depending on the type of restaurant you go to but cheaper stalls it can be picked up for around 50 to 75 baht per serving.
Chicken Skewers and peanut sauce (Satay Gai)
Many of you will be familiar with this dish as it is very popular in Europe so will need little explaining. The dish again is relatively simple comprising of grilled chicken a small side salad and peanut dipping sauce. It is low in fat except for the peanut dipping sauce and low in carbs. This dish paired with a Papaya Salad makes for an great meal for those looking to lose weight and again it’s not expensive, individual skewers can be purchased from street stalls for around 10 baht per skewer. Many stalls also sell pork skewers but chicken is a leaner source of protein so the better option for those looking to shed weight.
These are just a few of the great many healthy Thai dishes on offer. Other helpful tips to keep in mind when ordering consider the choice of protein in the meal seafood and chicken are often leaner sources of proteins and thus contain less calories and fats in general. Also opt for steamed or boiled rice over dishes such as chicken or pork fried rice.
As always we hope you have a safe and enjoyable time here in Pattaya and if you have any healthy dishes you think should be added to the list we would love to hear about them in the comments section.