Is Thai cuisine healthy?

Marisa Moore
Nutrition & Dietetics
Like any cuisine, there are healthy and not so healthy options in Thai cuisine.

High calorie coconut milk is one of the most prominent ingredients in Thai cooking and is used in everything from soups to curries. Almost every Thai recipe uses fish sauce, curry or shrimp paste, all of which are very high in sodium. This makes it tough to avoid overdoing it on sodium. Try making your favorite Thai dishes at home where you can better control the sodium.

Next time you dine at a Thai restaurant, try these healthier menu options:
  • Papaya Salad
  • Tom Yum Goong (Hot and Sour Shrimp Soup)
  • Summer Rolls
  • Satay - go easy on the dipping sauce
  • Gai Pad Mamuang Him Ma Pahn (Cashew Chicken) – just watch the portion
  • Gaeng Pah Curry (coconut milk free curry)
  • Ask for brown instead of white rice.
No matter your selection, remember that most restaurant portions are 2-3 times larger than you need. Thai food is great for sharing. Plan to share an entree or box half of it to enjoy for lunch or dinner the next day.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.