By Nutritionist Blogger Jeni Tackett, RD, LD
Juggling work, after school activities, and holiday shopping can be difficult. You may find yourself grabbing take-out more often this busy time of year.
Thai food can be a healthier option than ordering pizza on hectic evenings. As with any dining out experience, though, there are pitfalls that I can help you avoid.
After work and Christmas shopping recently, my husband and I stopped at Exotic Thai in Moline for a comforting meal (they have a restaurant in Davenport, too). The environment was cozy, and the meal was delicious.
I always recommend reading the menu for clues to how food is prepared. Look for leaner cooking techniques such as grilled or stir-fried.
For a lower fat appetizer, avoid “crispy” or “fried” foods.
|Choose this||Skip this|
|Fresh roll||Thai roll|
|Lettuce cup||Beef jerky|
Some healthier entrée choices include:
- Muok pla salmon: grilled salmon and vegetables
- Spicy basil noodles with stir-fried meat and vegetables
- Kang-po-vegetables with a coconut-milk-free curry
Exotic Thai offers steamed rice with all meals and serves the rice on the side. You can order brown rice for an additional $2.
Brown rice has added fiber along with magnesium, which is a mineral that is associated with reduction in heart disease and blood pressure.
Avoid fried rice, which has added oils and thus added calories.
Tips to cut back on calories at Thai restaurants:
- Use just a small amount of rice with your entrée (or none at all, as many entrees already include noodles or potatoes)
- Get a take-home container right when you order your meal and put half of your entrée in the container for another day
- Ask for vegetables as your “meat” option
- Ask for extra vegetables
- Eat slowly and enjoy your meal
A huge benefit of Thai cuisine comes from the vegetables.
Many restaurant meals are low in fiber and nutrients due to very little plant foods.
Thai food can be a great way to add variety to your dining experience and give you a nutrient and fiber boost!
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|