Thai food is one of the fastest growing cuisines in the West. And with dishes more flavorful and rich than most other countries can offer, it’s no wonder more and more Type 2 diabetics are turning to Thai food to eat healthy without needing to choke down bland salads and sandwiches.
However, not every Thai dish on your local Thai restaurant menu is appropriate for diabetics. A meal with papaya salad, fried noodles and sweetened sticky rice will likely push your blood sugar higher than a kite. Lucky for you there are a few mouth-watering Thai dishes that are ideal for keeping diabetic blood sugar in check.
Spicy Shrimp Soup: Spicy shrimp soup (also known as “tom yom goong”) contains fresh shrimp, Thai spices and coconut milk. Although not as healthy as salmon, shrimp is rich in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats combat the inflammation that underlies insulin resistance. Research published in the 2009 “FASEB Journal” found that supplementing with omega-3’s from seafood reduced insulin resistance stemming from obesity.
Coconut Curry: Coconut curries such as panang curry are bursting with foods like vegetables and lean meats, which should form the basis of your diabetic diet. Coconut oil is rich in a unique type of fat known as medium chain triglycerides. A paper in the February 2009 “Diabetes Metabolism Research Review” concluded that medium chain triglyceride-rich foods help diabetes manage their blood sugar.
Morning Glory: Stir-fried morning glory is the perfect Thai side dish. Morning glory is a green vegetable that can help you lose weight. Studies show that diabetics that gorge themselves on vegetables tend to weigh less than those that avoid vegetables.
Grilled Chicken: Many Thai restaurants offer grilled or baked chicken. Once you remove the skin, this dish becomes quite low in saturated fat and calories. Research suggests increasing your protein intake from healthy sources like grilled chicken can keep appetite at bay and may even boost your metabolism.
Steamed Vegetables: It doesn’t get much healthier than steamed vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, onions and carrots. However, Thai people wouldn’t accept a bland dish like steamed vegetables on their own. By adding a dash of salt and a generous amount of coconut milk, a dieting classic turns from boring to mouth-watering.
Fresh Fruit: Thailand offers fruits like pineapple, dragon fruit and mango that are not only flavorful but chock full of important vitamins and minerals. Ask your local Thai restaurants to make a fruit plate consisting of traditional Thai fruits for your dessert. Be sure to limit your fruit intake as certain Thai fruits like mango and pineapple are sugar-rich.