You just took a hard class that really worked up your heart rate, and though you kind-of-sort-of want to eat a salad, you’re more in the mood for thai food. How can you make this typically carb and fat-heavy takeout better for you? Here’s how to satisfy that craving the healthy way:
Go for the broth, skip the coconut milk
Coconut milk is where some Thai favorites like curry get their sweet spin. But one cup of coconut milk packs 70 more calories, six more grams of sugar, and zero protein compared to one gram per serving found in chicken broth.
Skip the fried food
Like most common takeout cuisine, fried foods are all too common on Thai food takeout menus. Lucky for you, healthier swaps are not too far down the list. Look for fresh spring rolls instead or crispy, and skip sugar-filled dipping sauces.
Pick a starter for your entree
More often than not, you’re going to find satay or cooked skewers of meat seasoned with peanut sauce in the appetizer section of the menu. These simple options can easily become an entree of pure protein. Unlike most common Thai entrees, these appetizers are not served with rice or noodles, which nixes unnecessary extras and leaves you with healthier side options like steamed veggies or edamame.
Recent studies have proven that when we immediately reduce portion sizes by half, we consume less and avoid overeating what’s put in front of us. Since Thai entrees are typically served as one main dish (as opposed to an entree of meat and two separate sides, for example), it’s simple to ask your server to box up half of your order to go before it comes to your table. Bonus: Dinner for tomorrow is all set.
Ask for more veggies
Fresh veggies are a staple in nearly every Thai dish, and asking for double serving is an easy way to sneak more vitamins and minerals into what can easily become a starchy meal. Ask for it as a protein option in stir fries, or in place of half of the noodles in dishes like pad thai and drunken noodles. You won’t lose any of the flavor, and you’ll gain more goodness in every bite.