Thais snack all day and every day, yet they’re some of the world’s thinnest and healthiest people. How is this possible? It’s simple. Thais eat low-fat,low-calorie snacks and only small amounts, thus keeping their weight down and their energy up. If you too like to snack but don’t want to lose weight, try one of these healthy, low-calorie Thai snacks. They’re tasty, satisfying and will give you energy without making you fat.
It’s a Snack Not A Meal – While Thais eat a small portion of food for their ‘snack’, most Americans eat a snack that’s as large as a full-size meal for a Thai, then wonder why they get fat. Before you read about the top five healthy, low-calorie snacks, remember this – it’s supposed to be a small amount of food and not enough to keep you going until tomorrow.
Best Five Healthy, Low-Calorie Thai Snacks
Fresh Fruit – As obvious as it might sound, fruit is the best healthy, low-calorie snack. Eaten every day by Thais, many Americans never eat any fresh fruit, a fact you can see in the increasing rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in America.
In Thailand, Thais will pick up a bag of fresh, cut fruit at a street stall on the street for an afternoon snack. A bag of fruit like pineapple, guava (called ‘farang’ in Thailand), watermelon, mango or orange segments is a no-fat snack option that has less than 150 calories, yet provides you with much needed healthy fiber and fills you up.
Roasted Sunflower or Pumpkin Seeds – Thais eat a lot of nuts and seeds and a packet of roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds is a wonderful healthy, low-calorie snack in Thailand. Each packet has less than 200 calories, yet provides B vitamins, protein and iron. Just make sure when you buy a packet of sunflower or pumpkin seeds you opt for the ones roasted with no added oils or sugar.
Stewed Pumpkin in Coconut Milk – Surprising to many Americans, coconut milk is very healthy as it contains a healthy oil, much better for you than the processed junk most Americans consume. Add stewed pumpkin (loaded with beta-carotene and vitamins), and it makes a delicious, satisfying, healthy and low-calorie snack.
To make, simply chop and peel an average-sized pumpkin and cube it. Stew it in half a cup of coconut milk and one cup of water. Add one third a cup of sugar and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes, then cool and serve. One pumpkin will make enough stewed pumpkin in coconut milk for snack for five days, yet is less than 250 calories a snack – the same as a yoghurt.
Dried Fruit Chips – Thais love dried fruit and eat it often, as it’s a healthy, filling snack. Eat a handful of dried bananas, dried papaya, durian or dried taro. Around 200 calories for a palm full, just make sure you don’t over indulge as, eaten in large portions, dried fruit chips will make you gain weight.
Sticky Rice – In Thailand, you can buy sticky rice that has been mixed with coconut milk, fruit shavings and red beans, wrapped in a banana leaf and sold on the side of the street as a snack, and they’re absolutely delicious. One banana leaf of sticky rice is around 250 calories and is very filling.
If you want to eat something similar, top a rice cake with a scraping of peanut butter, add a drizzle of honey and some apple and a few pumpkin seeds. Yum.