Thai cooks normally use a lot of garlic, chilies, onions, and lemon grass to flavor their food. In fact, so much Thai food is superbly flavored without being smothered in sauce. Even so, it also has a few of the same dietary traps as Chinese food: plenty of fat and calories are put into savory sauces and mixed dishes.
Start on the right foot here by ordering sensible appetizers. Chicken satay, which is typically grilled white meat on a skewer, is a great start, and so are light broth soups like vegetable wonton and torn yum kai, a spicy soup withvegetables. However, don't mistake it for torn kha kai, which has coconut milk and added calories. Thai restaurants generally offer salads, which are also a good choice; still, go easy on the dressing, which is usually made from peanuts.
Noodle dishes—especially Pad Thai—are a big draw. It is highly recommended that if you're going to order one, share it and keep your portion small. Opt for lean forms of protein if you feel the need to have a tortilla, ask for corninstead of flour—it will be lower in calories and a bit higher in fiber. Examples are white-meat chicken without the skin, fish, shrimp, or scallops, as well as mixed veggie dishes. It's would be good for you to pass on the curries—it's hard to tell just how much fat is in them—and stick with dishes stir-fried with lighter sauces or just garlic and chilies.
Ask your waiter what the lightest dishes are, then follow his or her advice.
Check out my other posts on healthy dining in different international restaurants:
© 2012 Athena Goodlight