Going on a keto diet in Thailand

Going on a keto diet in ThailandGoing on a keto diet in Thailand

After pregnancy I gained more than 8kg (18lbs). I really struggled getting rid of it. Especially since I had inflammation in my knee. Here in rural Thailand there’s no daycare for babies or toddlers. Combining work and raising our child, we ate out a lot. It all took a toll on our weight. Early in September 2019 I decided I had to make a change. I started the keto diet.

Going on the keto diet, one of the problems with Thai food is that it is mainly rice and noodles.

Another problem is there’s sugar in almost everything. When my mom told me there’s about a teaspoon of sugar in any dish you order at any restaurant it opened my eyes. It’s in fried rice, grilled meat, mixed vegetables…etc. I was shocked!

MSG (Sodium glutamate) in the food is yet another problem. Instant noodles, for example, are packed with MSG (and other stuff, I’m not an expert or nutritionist). It doesn’t mean you can’t eat them, but too often isn’t good for you. Apparently eating instant noodles twice a week or more creates a higher risk of metabolic syndrome (increased risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels). Now you can disagree on the amount of MSG someone can have, but instant noodles contain too many carbs anyway so there’s no reason to fixate on the amount of MSG in them.

A more serious issue is the oil they are using. Most local restaurants use harmful vegetable oils like soybean oil or sunflower oil. On the keto diet, you must try to avoid all the unhealthy oils. Processed vegetable oils, margarine, hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils and other trans fats, interesterified fats - sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, canola, soybean, grapeseed and corn oil are all damaging to your health. (1) Chronic consumption of soybean oil (or any of these oils) might cause some severe health problems. The most common are:

  1. Obesity
  2. Liver Disease
  3. Heart Disease
  4. Immune Toxicity (Soybean oil may be toxic to critical immune cells)(2)

This new lifestyle of mine gave me the idea to adapt authentic Thai dishes to the keto lifestyle. There are plenty of delicious Thai dishes that fit the keto diet perfectly.

(1) Source: Complete Guide to Fats & Oils on a Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

(2) Source: Is Soybean Oil Unhealthy? What the Science Says

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