Similar to menus at American-Chinese restaurants, Thai restaurants have something for every type of eater. Of course, the go-to classic of pad thai might be one of the yummiest choices. But if you are looking to order something healthy and filling, you will need to choose differently. Given the larger portions at most Thai restaurants, my suggestion for the best Thai takeout order is slightly different.
First, I suggest ordering two appetizers as your main instead of one entree. Two appetizers will keep portions in check while simultaneously keeping your taste buds excited. For diners with no dietary restrictions, the best Thai takeout order is shrimp spring rolls with either tom yum soup or papaya salad. For vegetarian eaters, the best takeout option will vary depending on your local Thai restaurant. If available, order spring rolls with tofu instead of shrimp and the tom yum soup or papaya salad (as long as they are seafood free).
If those options are not available, I suggest a curry with tofu and extra vegetables. There is no need to skip the rice on the side but give yourself a fist-sized amount and save the rest for lunch the next day.
As an avid noodle lover, I understand that it can be weird to stray away from the noodle category on the menu and try something else. If you must order a noodle dish, serve yourself a small amount and put the rest in the fridge to be enjoyed throughout the week.
This is not to demonize noodles, noodle dishes like pad thai are just higher in simple carbohydrates and lower in protein and fiber compared to other menu categories. Because of this reason, you might fill up quickly but not stay full. This can also be the cause of unwelcomed bloating and GI discomfort.
The final suggestion for enjoying Thai takeout is focused not on the food, but on the way you eat it. First, when your takeout arrives, be sure to put it on a plate. Not only does it make the food more attractive but it gives your brain a visual cue that a portion of food is coming.
In addition, use the chopsticks the restaurant gives you, this will slow down your eating pace. Slowing down when eating helps with digestion and will allow you to notice your feelings of fullness. Happy eating!
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