Thai food is one of the fastest growing cuisines in the West. And with dishes tastier and richer than most other countries can offer, it’s no wonder that more and more Type 2 diabetics are turning to Thai food to eat healthily without the need for salads and soft sandwiches.
However, not all Thai dishes on the menu at a local Thai restaurant are suitable for diabetics. A meal of papaya salad, fried noodles, and sweetened sticky rice will likely raise your blood sugar higher than a kite. Luckily for you, there are some delicious Thai dishes that are great for controlling blood sugar in diabetics.
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 are rich in omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats fight the inflammation underlying insulin resistance. Research published in the 2009 “FASEB Magazine” found that omega-3 supplementation from shellfish reduced insulin resistance resulting from obesity.
Coconut curry: Coconut curry, like panang curry, is packed with foods like veggies 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. An article in February 2009 “Review of Research on Diabetes Metabolism“concluded that foods rich in medium chain triglycerides help diabetes control blood sugar.
Morning glory: Sauteed morning glory is the perfect Thai side dish. Morning glory is a green vegetable that can help you lose weight. Studies show that diabetics who gorge themselves on vegetables tend to weigh less than those who avoid them.
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 that increasing your protein intake from healthy sources like grilled chicken can keep your appetite at bay and may even boost your metabolism.
Steamed vegetables: There is nothing healthier than steamed vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, onions, and carrots. However, Thais wouldn’t accept a bland dish like steamed vegetables on their own. By adding a pinch of salt and a generous amount of coconut milk, a diet classic goes from boring to delicious.
Fresh fruit: Thailand offers fruits like pineapple, dragon fruit, and mango that are not only tasty but packed with important vitamins and minerals. Ask your local Thai restaurants to prepare a fruit plate with traditional Thai fruits for your dessert. Be sure to limit your fruit intake, as certain Thai fruits like mango and pineapple are rich in sugar.