Due to all the hype around food in Thailand, there’s a general misperception that if you’re visiting the Land of Smiles, you’ll end up living on spicy curries, noodles, duck beak, raw pig’s blood, and various insects. Of course, if that’s what sails your boat, nobody’s going to stop you – certainly not in Thailand.
But for those who are conscious of what they eat, there’s absolutely no reason for concern while visiting Thailand. In fact, what you’re going to find is that the authentic Thai lifestyle is even more nutritious, without actually having to be conscious about it at all. The Thai people lead effortlessly healthier lives, and they don’t even think about it.
We’re going to let you in on a few of their little secrets…
Thai People Don’t eat Gluten
If there’s one thing causing havoc on western wellness, its gluten… and it’s in just about everything we touch on our shelves! Not so in Thailand!
Why? Because they have rice. Field upon Field of rice, right on their doorstep. They cook rice, make rice noodles, and even incorporate rice into their sticky sweet desserts. Food in Thailand just doesn’t factor in gluten. It’s bloody marvelous!
Thai People Eat All Day Long
Wait, all day long?
All. Day. Long.
You might be wondering how healthy that is, but the Thai do not eat set meals. They simply eat as and when they’re peckish, snacking on all the decadent munchies that are so readily available on their streets.
Not only does this negate the need to binge-eat, but this eating habit also stimulates the metabolism, which burns fat faster.
Food in Thailand is More Spicy
Thai people do admittedly eat a lot of spice, and they claim quite confidently that it ‘burns all the bad stuff’. It turns out this is true, in one way at least: eating spicy food does actually warm up the body and increase metabolism, thereby helping to burn calories.
One also tends to eat Thai curries slower because of the sheer pain factor, which is great for digestion.
The Thai Don’t Act Psycho Over Food
Because they are eating all day long, and it’s seen as simple nourishment that is enjoyed and shared with friends and family, the Thai people aren’t constantly obsessing about food the way westerners do. The western way is to either obsess about wanting more and more of their favourite food or being totally neurotic about eating less and less.
Having a healthy mental approach to food accounts for a great deal of healthy Thai eating habits.
Thai Kitchens Don’t Have Pantries
Some travellers have noted, with some bewilderment, that most Thai families do not have a pantry, and their cupboards are sparsely stocked. Once opening the average Thai fridge, the reason for this becomes crystal clear: Thai people stock and eat heaps and heaps of fresh foods, as opposed to the preservative-laden crap that we fill our pantries with.
Granola bars, chocolates, crackers, cookies, crisps… these just don’t have a place in the typical Thai home. What it does have is a place is plenty of fresh, raw, natural and sustainable ingredients from local markets and farmers.
Fast Food Just Isn’t That Popular
The average man in Thailand perceives fast food as a ‘rich man’s food’.
The rich man in Thailand perceives fast food as sub-standard to a real dining experience, which he’d much prefer to spend his moola on.
Basically, there’s not a lot of demand for fast food in Thailand, as opposed to the plethora of burger chain stores in the west. What’s also worth mentioning is that the Thai version of ‘fast food’ is a juicy, freshly-chopped mango a local market. Now, who could beat that?
Coconuts and Ginger
Of all that fresh food in Thailand, the Thai boast a good handful of power-foods that are excessively available around every corner. Ingredients like ginger and coconut, green mangoes and bananas, which are mostly served raw, or very lightly cooked, are loaded with nutrition.
There’s really no reason to fret about what you’re going to eat while visiting Thailand. Many travellers leave the country feeling better than when they arrived. (Admittedly, those are the ones who probably did not participate in every one of our awesome pub crawls) The Thai lifestyle is not only safe for foreigners but superior, natural and more sustainable.