Thai restaurant dish with prawns

Eating Out on a Diet - Thai Food

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Eating out Thai style is a good choice as there are usually plenty of healthy options on the menu and portion sizes tend to be small.

Many dishes also include more vegetables than meat, and are cooked quickly so that few nutrients are lost due to over-cooking.


Coconut cream and milk are popular ingredients in many sweet and savoury dishes.

Despite the recent trend for the faddy Coconut Diet, which is basically a low-carb diet with the addition of coconut oil, there’s little evidence that coconut can help you lose weight.

In fact, it’s high in fat, especially saturates, and calories, so it’s best not to overindulge if you want to stay looking fabulous in your bikini and keep your heart healthy!


Noodles make a good main meal, with the most famous dish being Pad Thai – rice noodles, shrimp, chilli, bean sprouts and egg topped with peanuts.


Rice is often served as an accompaniment, but to keep the calorie content down choose plain or fragrant varieties – a portion contains around 380 calories.

In contrast, fried rice contains 540 calories and coconut rice, which is made with coconut milk, totals 580 calories.


Peanuts are a favourite ingredient in Thai dishes and while they have a low glycaemic index, they’re still high in calories and fat, although it’s mainly heart-healthy monounsaturates.

Satay – meat or seafood on skewers – is a common dish and is generally low in calories.

The peanut sauce it’s served with though can bump up the calorie intake considerably.

Thai Food Calorie Content Chart

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