Thai Food Calories

Thai food is a healthy choice when eating out or when buying take-away food as there are plenty of healthy options on the menu with lots of vegetables and herbs. Portion sizes tend to be small and you can forgo the rice. The ingredients are generally are stir-fried so that most of the nutrients are not lost by over-cooking. Thai food includes many fresh herbs that add flvor and reduce the need for excess salt.

However some of the foods on the menus are high in fat and have high calories. It is worthwhile learning how to identify the lower calorie alternatives and the things to avoid if you are on a diet. In this review I aim to provide information on healthy low calorie and low fat choices as well as presenting a comprehensive table summarising the calorie and fat content of common Thai dishes.

An example of a good choices from the menu would be hot and sour shrimp soup and a stir fried cashew chicken dish Shrimp soup has about 295 calories while the cashew chicken contains 394 calories. Compare this with Mussaman curry, which has about 760 calories and coconut shrimp soup, which contains 528 calories. The latter combination contains nearly twice the calories - add some rice and fried noodles to the soup and this mean could total more than 70% of your total daily allowance of calories ( 2100-2800 calories per day).

Thai food is general healthy but individual dishes vary in terms of calories and fat. See a chart of Thai Food Calories to help you decide what to eat when dieting
Thai food is general healthy but individual dishes vary in terms of calories and fat. See a chart of Thai Food Calories to help you decide what to eat when dieting | Source
Thai Food Calories vary considerably. See what food to eat in a list of healthy alternatives for various dishes
Thai Food Calories vary considerably. See what food to eat in a list of healthy alternatives for various dishes | Source
Vegetables are a goof choice when trying to control Thai Food Calories
Vegetables are a goof choice when trying to control Thai Food Calories | Source
Enjoy your Thai food at home and when eatng out , or getting take away dishes by knowing details if Thai Food Calories
Enjoy your Thai food at home and when eatng out , or getting take away dishes by knowing details if Thai Food Calories | Source
Discovering details of Thai Food Calories helps you enjoy your meal knowing it will not compromise you diet preferences.
Discovering details of Thai Food Calories helps you enjoy your meal knowing it will not compromise you diet preferences. | Source

Healthy Low Calorie Food Choices for Thai Food

Pad Thai is a very popular Thai dish that is made up of meat such as chicken or beef, rice noodles, eggs, fresh greens such as green onions, bean sprouts and cilantro, peanuts and a sauce made up of oil, spices, fish sauce and chili. Pad Thai is delicious but is very high in calories, especially if ordered from a restaurant. and can contain about 1,400 calories (about half the daily calorie allowance). The serving sizes are usually large and could easily be two meals.

If eating at a restaurant, eat half or share the meal. Pad Thai can be made at home recipes typically only have half the calories of a restaurant meal. To reduce the calories use less noodles than recommended and add more vegetables. Use low fat beef or chicken breast, shrimp, or tofu. Trim the excess fat off before cooking. Use minimal amount of oil (2 teaspoons) by using a non-stick wok or frying pan. Only eat the recommended serving size for the recipe.


Some of the other Healthy Choices for Thai food are:

  • Start with a broth-based soup, not one made with coconut milk. Order dishes that are stir-fried, steamed or grilled.
  • Choose dishes that feature lots of vegetables.
  • Focus on Lower-fat choices such as : garlic shrimp, hot-and-sour soup, chicken satay, stir-fried noodles, scallops, bamboo, sautéed ginger chicken, Thai salad, tom yum, Pad Thai, low-fat green and red curry, rather than Mussaman curry
  • If you order curry, request one that does not contain potatoes.
  • Avoid soups and curries that are loaded with coconut milk (e.g., red curry), and Mussaman curry.
  • Avoid deep fried dishes such as crispy or deep-fried Thai rolls, hot Thai fish, royal tofu, fried rice, chili or crispy duck.
  • Anything listed on the menu as pad will almost certainly be a noodle dish and generally have lower calories than a curry. Noodles, such as Pad Thai, make a better main meal choice than a curry but asked for low calorie versions.
  • In general, stick to dishes that are quickly sauteed with lemongrass and/or basil, and other aromatic Thai herbs and vegetables.
  • Many Thai dishes use sweet ingredients - oyster sauce, pineapple, sweet-and-sour sauce - which have high calories and should be consumed in moderation.
  • Coconut cream and milk are very popular and widely used ingredients in many savory and sweet dishes, sauces and curries. But these ingredients are high in fat and calories.
  • When ordering rice choose the plain steamed or fragrant rice varieties. A serving of plain boiled rice contains about 375 calories. Compare this with fried rice that generally contains 550 calories and coconut rice about 590 calories.
  • Peanuts are a very popular ingredient for Thai dishes. While peanuts have a low glycaemic index and are generally good for you, they are still high in calories and fat and should be eaten in moderation. Use peanut sauce sparingly.
  • Satay – meat or seafood on skewers – is a common dish and is generally low in calories and is a healthy choice.

Some other healthy alternative are shown below as well as a list of calories and fat in common Thai dishes.

© janderson99-HubPages

High and Low Calorie Alternatives for Thai Food

Healthy Choice (Low Calories)
High in Calories
tom yum koong (shrimp and mushrooms simmered in hot-and-sour broth with coriander, lime leaves and lemongrass)
dumplings or spring rolls
sauteed shrimp or beef with basil, onion and chillies
pad thai
sauteed scallops and shrimp (or beef or pork) with mushrooms, zucchini and chili paste
any curry dish
sauteed beef, chicken or pork with shrimp paste and green beans
sauteed beef, chicken or pork with ginger, black bean sauce and green onion
sauteed mixed vegetables
Thai fried rice with vegetables and eggs
steamed mussels with Thai herbs and garlic sauce
deep-fried whole fish with sweet-and-sour sauce

List of Thai Foods with their Calorie Contents (various serving sizes)

Food
Quantity
Calories
Beef with Basil, 4 oz round steak
serve
360
Chicken Satay (Satay gai), 1/4 order with peanut sauce
serve
490
Chicken with Basil (Gai Pad Gaprao), 4 oz chicken
serve
335
Coconut Milk Soup with Chicken (Tom kha gai)
serve
165
Drunken Chicken Wings (Peek gai mao daeng) 1.2 order
serve
655
Fish cakes, each
serve
50
Fresh pineapple
serve
70
Gai hoh bai teo (chicken wrapped in bandan leaf)
serve
420
Gai tome ke (chicken, coconut and galangel soup)
serve
110
Gang ped bhed yang (duck curry)
serve
540
Ginger Beef, 4 oz round steak
serve
230
Ginger Chicken (Gai Pad Khing), 1/2 order
serve
368
Ginger Pork, 1/2 order
serve
469
Green Curry, beef, 4 oz round steak
serve
587
Green Curry, chicken, 4 oz chicken breast
serve
562
Green Curry, pork, 4 oz shoulder
serve
800
Green Curry, shrimp, 16 lg. Shrimp
serve
557
Kow neuw mamuang (mangoes with sticky rice)
serve
66
Lean Cuisine Thai chicken
serve
250
Lean Cuisine Thai-Style chicken with rice
serve
230
Lemon Grass Chicken (Gai Sai Takrai), 1/2 order
serve
280
Moo pad king (pork fried with ginger)
serve
310
Normai pad kai (pork with bamboo shoots)
serve
370
Pad Thai (fried noodles)
serve
410
Pad Thai Chicken, 4 oz chicken and 50g noodles
serve
766
Pad Thai Shrimp,16 large shrimp and 50g noodles
serve
760
Pad Thai Vegetable, 50g noodles
serve
665
Panang Curry, chicken, 4 oz chicken breast
serve
472
Panang Curry, chicken, 4 oz chicken breast
serve
472
Pepper Steak, 4 oz round steak
serve
280
Pla manow (fish with lemon sauce)
serve
400
Pork Satay, 1/4 order with peanut sauce
serve
590
Pork with Basil, 4 oz pork loin
serve
469
Pork with Peanut Sauce, 1/2 order
serve
1025
Red Curry, beef, 4 oz round steak
serve
564
Red Curry, chicken, 4 oz chicken breast
serve
539
Red Curry, pork, 4 oz shoulder
serve
777
Red Curry, shrimp, 16 lg shrimp
serve
533
Roasted Garlic Rice Noodle Bowl
serve
120
Satay and peanut sauce
serve
400
Som loy geow (oranges in syrup)
serve
210
Spring rolls, each
serve
100
Stir fried vegetables and Tofu (Pad Phak Taohu), 1/2 order
serve
565
Thai Burger (1 burger)
serve
100
Thai Chili Sauce
1 tbsp
15
Thai Hot & Sour Noodle Bowl
serve
115
Thai Kitchen Curry Noodle Stir Fry
serve
290
Thai Lemongrass & Chili Soup
serve
80
Thai Lemongrass & Ginger Jasmine Rice
serve
200
Thai Mushroom Soup Bowl
serve
120
Thai Noodle soup
serve
79
Thai Spring Roll
serve
455
Thai Style Chicken & Rice Noodles
serve
290
Tom yam gung (hot and sour soup with prawns)
serve
120
Yam talay (seafood salad) without dressing
serve
150

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Comments 2 comments

kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

OMG, the calories! :D Heck, still love Pad Thai. Just like your hub about the calories in Chinese foods, this one is chock-full of information. Voted useful :)


johncimble profile image

johncimble 4 years ago from Bangkok

still love them all lol

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    Dr. John Anderson (janderson99)753 Followers
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    John uses research skills in Biochemistry & Physiology (PhD) to develop authoritative reviews of calories in foods, calorie counting, diets



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