8 Tips on How to Cook a Healthy Thai Meal
Thai cuisine isn’t only known for its flavors and aromas, but for its nutrition and health benefits as well. In this article, we’ll talk about the best ways to make your Thai cooking a little more health-friendly. With that said, here are eight tips on how to cook a healthy Thai meal:
1. Use Fresh Ingredients
The best thing you can do to make your Thai dish healthier is by using the freshest ingredients. Most Thai people who cook will go out to a fresh market to get their ingredients. However, if you live outside of Thailand, it’s not the easiest to find a fresh market that is similar to the ones in Thailand. Instead, you may want to look up the ingredients you need, write it down, and go to your nearest Asian grocery store to pick them up. They may not have all of the items, but you can ask them about what may be the best alternative to what is needed.
2. Eat Raw Veggies
Thai people love veggies, and the best way to have Thai greens is to have them fresh and raw. In Thai cuisine, there is something called “Nam Prik,” which is a term used to describe chili pastes, and all of them are served with an assortment of boiled and fresh vegetable and herbs. These herbs are the major source of nutrients that you need, from fiber and vitamins to additional substances such as iron and zinc. Try adding fresh veggies to your Thai dish; we promise it will make everything ten times better!
3. Replace Oil with Broth
Instead of using oil, Thai chefs often add extra moisture to food with broth. The broth is a soup base that’s made from a variety of ingredient, from chicken bones, pork bones, to vegetable. It’s a good alternative for those who are looking to cut down on their caloric consumption.
4. Use Healthy Sweeteners
Thai cuisine rarely uses white sugar to sweeten their dishes; instead using ingredients such as palm, cane, and coconut sugar to add a sweet taste to the food. These are definitely healthier options that you can choose that aren’t white processed sugar.
5. Put Some Fish Sauce on Your Plate
The most dominant ingredient in Thai cooking is fish sauce, and it’s used for nearly every dish. It’s a salty sauce that’s made from fermented fish, salt, and water, but don’t let the ingredients fool you; it’s one of the best sauces you will ever have! It may take a bit of getting used to, but once you’re familiar with it, you won’t want to go back to your regular salt. What’s more is that fish sauce typically has a smaller sodium content than regular salt, so you can be sure that fish sauce is much lighter on your kidneys than salt is.
6. Use High-Heat and Speedy Cooking Methods
As mentioned, Thai people like their food served as fresh as possible, so the chefs will focus on using high heat to get the cooking done as quickly as possible, This is a great way to preserve the nutrients in the ingredients, and when it comes to stir-fried veggies, they will be much crispier and bouncy in your mouth compared to your boring, old, boiled broccoli.
7. Eat Healthy Snacks
Thai people have a culture of snacking between meals, but traditionally, Thai snacks include fresh fruits and rice flour-based desserts. These are much healthier options than fries, ice cream, and donuts, so you can snack all you want and never have to feel guilty about it!
8. Have a Balanced Diet and Lifestyle
Much like many other Asian cultures, Thai people believe in the concept of a balanced diet and lifestyle. You want to balance out savory with sweet, salty with sour, and richness with spice. Although the concept may sound like it’s intended for taste only, it extends much further beyond that. It’s a deep-rooted belief, based on both the religion and culture of the country, so you can be sure that it has some sort of merits for you as well.
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