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What Thai Food Is Low in Cholesterol?

by
author image Sara Ipatenco
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.
What Thai Food Is Low in Cholesterol?
A bowl of pork Thai soup. Photo Credit Skarie20/iStock/Getty Images

Having high cholesterol can raise the chances that you'll have a heart attack or stroke. If you're following a low-cholesterol diet, you should limit your daily intake to 200 milligrams or less, according to the American Heart Association. If Thai food tops your list of favorites, rest assured that there are many options that don't contain any cholesterol or that are very low in cholesterol. That doesn't mean, however, that they're all nutritious, so pay attention to saturated fat and sodium content, as well.

Rice and Noodles

Rice and noodles themselves don't contain any cholesterol, but dishes that include rice and noodles might contain cholesterol, depending on what other ingredients they include. Any rice or noodle dish that's made with just vegetables, such as Khao phat kaeng khiao wan, which is fried rice with green curry, is cholesterol-free. Phat wun sen made with vegetables and Kuai-tiao phat khi mao, which is a dish of spicy fried noodles, are both low in cholesterol, as well. Because rice and noodle dishes are very rarely made with butter or lard, according to Joe Cummings, author of "Thailand," any option that doesn't contain meat or seafood is cholesterol-free.

Soups and Salads

Tom chuet, which is made with vegetable broth and an assortment of vegetables, is a cholesterol-free Thai soup. Tom yam soup -- prepared with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and dried chilies -- can be low in cholesterol as well, as long as you skip the addition of prawns, which do contain cholesterol. Vegetable-based salads are usually low in cholesterol, too. Som tam, a papaya salad, and Tam phonla mai ruam, which is made with several types of fruit, are two options. Go easy on the dressing for Tam phonla mai ruam, however, because it can contain dried shrimp, which does contain cholesterol.

Main Courses

Any deep-fried, stir-fried or curry-meat or seafood dish is going to be fairly high in cholesterol. Meat dishes made with white meat chicken are lower in cholesterol than dishes made with beef, pork, shrimp, crab or other types of seafood. Khai yat sai should also be avoided because it's made with eggs, and one egg contains 186 milligrams of cholesterol. Phak khana nam man hoi, a kale-based dish, and Phat phak ruam, a stir-fried vegetable dish, are two low-cholesterol options. Phat yot fak maeo, which is a stir-fried melon entree, is another nutritious option. Roti, a type of bread, is served with many Thai main courses and is a cholesterol-free option.

Drinks, Snacks and Sweet Treats

Khao phan nga muan, a snack made with rice flour and sesame seeds dipped in chili sauce, is one cholesterol-free Thai snack. Thot man khaophot are corn cakes served with chili sauce, and they are cholesterol-free. One cholesterol-free dessert is Khanom bua loi, which is taro mixed with flour and served with coconut milk. Khanom khrok, similar to pancakes, and Khanom tako, a jasmine-infused coconut pudding, are additional options. Any of the tea and fruit drinks traditional in Thai cuisine are low in cholesterol. For example, Nam takhrai, a lemongrass tea, and Oliang, which is iced black coffee, are two common drinks.

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