Fancy a Thai meal? How to choose healthy options from the menu
Tom yum goong - hot and sour prawn soup - is the ideal Thai starter. Like all chunky broths, it's good for triggering your body's fullness signals.
Do not be tempted by chicken satay - it's the peanut sauce that really pushes this menu choice into the fattening starter category. Scoff the lot and this dish will set you back 400 calories.
Your mid-range mid-range Thai starter choice would be crab fishcakes. Four canapé-sized ones contain about 200 calories. But crab also supplies more zinc - good for skin and immune system - than red meat, and is a source of iron too.
Find out how to make your own low-fat warming Oriental soup
Look out for pork with ginger (moo pahd king), a stir-fried dish that contains just 300 calories. Added benefits? Ginger helps cut through digestive discomfort, while pork is a good source of energizing vitamin B1.
Beware duck red curry (gaeng phed phed yang) if you're watching your weight - it can contain up to 75% of your daily saturated fat limit. It's also around 550 cals before rice.
Your amber main course choice might be spicy sweet and sour fish (pla sam rod). It does contain up to 500 calories, thanks to the fish being flour-coated and then deep-fried. However, the sweet and sour sauce contains metabolism-boosting chilli and is totally fat-free.
Sticky rice isn't too bad nutriition-wise, at around 55 cals per heaped tablespoon, but it is high GI (raises your blood sugar fast) so you will be hungry again before long.
Stir-fried vegetables are your best choice, providing one or even two of your five a day. Keep the calorie count down by asking the waiter to hold the oyster sauce, which will also help you avoid OD-ing on salt.
Spring rolls are a definite no-no: two rolls equal 300 calories, but the saturated fat is more of a worry. And think before you dip - that sauce contains nearly two lumps of sugar per tablespoon.
There is no better follow-up to a rich meal than fresh fruit. Pineapple slices, for example, contain enzymes to help you digest protein and is one of your daily five, with just 32 calories per slice.
Rambutans in syrup also count as one of your five a day; a typical serving contains around five teaspoons of sugar. Skip the ice cream, though.
Mango with coconut rice (kow neuw mamuang) however, clocks in at around 600 calories per portion, and most of your daily saturated fat limit. One to share, perhaps?
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