You may as well be asking if a tiger is a cat. Pad Thai is a dish—a Thai dish. It’s not exactly the everyday definition of healthy, but it’s also not an uncommon staple of most diets. As with other meals containing a high amount of carbs and oils, there are ways to make pad thai healthy that are both pleasing to your taste buds and nutritious for your body. You can eat pad thai in a healthy way by choosing the right ingredients and eliminating others. With the right prep, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for nutrition—in fact, you can have both at once! The key is to know what goes into this popular dish and how to prepare it in an advantageous way. Let’s take a look at some icky facts about pad thai, as well as some helpful tips on making it healthy!
Is Pad Thai Healthy?
Pad Thai is a healthy dish made with whole grain noodles, shrimp or chicken, eggs, and vegetables. It’s also important to use a good amount of tamarind paste for flavor rather than sugar and soy sauce. pad Thai is a high-carbohydrate dish, but the carbs come from nutrient-rich ingredients like vegetables, so it’s not as bad as eating refined carbs like white bread or pasta.
Does Pad Thai Have Any Health Benefits?
1. It’s High In Fiber.
Pad thai is a low-fat meal, and it contains a good amount of fiber, which means that it helps you stay full longer and keeps your digestive system functioning properly.
2. It’s High In Protein.
A serving of pad thai contains about 10 grams of protein, which is more than chicken breast! Protein is important for maintaining muscle mass and keeping you strong during periods of growth and exercise. In addition to helping build your muscles, protein also helps your body repair tissue and maintain its structure; it aids in the production of enzymes that aid in digestion, as well as the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Protein can also help aid with weight loss when consumed in the form of lean meats or fish with every meal.
3. It’s High In Calcium.
For those who are lactose intolerant or have allergies to cow’s milk, it may be hard to get the amount of calcium that your body needs. Luckily, many of the ingredients in pad thai are high in calcium, and they can help you meet your daily requirements!
4. It’s High In Iron.
Iron is an important mineral that helps red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. It also aids in the production of enzymes that aid in digestion, as well as the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Iron deficiency is a common condition among women who are menstruating or pregnant and among children who are experiencing growth spurts or undergoing a growth spurt themselves. There are many foods that contain iron, but pad thai is one of them! Just one serving provides about 3% to 8% of your daily need for this mineral.
5. It’s High In Fiber And Healthy Fats (And Low In Cholesterol).
Fiber is important for good digestion, especially for those who are lactose intolerant or who have allergies to cow’s milk. It’s also important for maintaining a healthy weight, as well as helping with blood sugar regulation and cholesterol levels. Fiber is made up of sugars, which are not digested in the body; instead, they help keep your digestive system moving along smoothly!
6. It’s High In Vitamin A.
Vitamin A helps your body maintain healthy vision and skin, as well as aids with cell growth and development. One serving of pad thai provides about 0.7% to 1% of your daily vitamin A needs (based on a 2,000-calorie diet). Vitamin A is found in many foods that are good sources of this nutrient; however, it can be difficult to get the amount that you need from just one serving!
Why Is Shrimp In Pad Thai Not A Good Idea?
1. Shrimp Is High In Fat
Shrimp is a fatty fish and should not be eaten in large quantities. It is high in cholesterol and fat, which can make it dangerous to your health. If you have high cholesterol or any other medical condition, shrimp should not be eaten at all. In fact, shrimp is also very high in sodium. Because of these harmful effects, shrimp should never be included in a healthy meal plan.
2. Shrimp Is High In Sodium
The sodium level of shrimp is very high compared to other meats, which makes it a very unhealthy food to eat on a regular basis. The average American consumes about three times the amount of sodium that they need each day! When you eat too much sodium, your body loses its ability to balance its own electrolytes (sodium and potassium). This can cause many health problems including muscle cramps and fatigue as well as hypertension (high blood pressure). Additionally, if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, you should avoid eating too much sodium.
3. Shrimp Is High In Cholesterol
Shrimp is a very high source of cholesterol and should be avoided if you are trying to lower your cholesterol levels or maintain them at a healthy level. The average American eats about two pounds of shrimp each year, which means that they consume close to 20 grams of cholesterol every day! There’s nothing good about this amount of cholesterol, and it can increase your risk for heart disease and other health problems. If you’re eating shrimp regularly, it is important to limit the amount of shrimp you eat so that your body can function normally and stay healthy.
4. Shrimp Is High In Fat-Soluble Pollutants
The fat-soluble pollutants found in shrimp are very harmful to your body’s health because they are stored in the body after consumption—not eliminated from it as other pollutants are. These pollutants have been linked to cancer and other health problems.
5. Shrimp Is High In Mercury
Shrimp contains high levels of mercury, which can be very harmful to your health. When you eat shrimp, Mercury will enter your body through the digestive system. The body then stores the mercury before it excretes it through the kidneys and liver. This process causes a buildup of mercury in your body that can lead to neurological disorders and other negative effects on your health.
How Often Should You Eat Pad Thai To Maintain A Healthy Diet?
1. Eat Pad Thai When You’re Hungry.
When you’re craving some pad thai (or any other meal), eat it when you’re hungry. The only time dieters should avoid eating is when they are full, as eating at that point will cause the body to retain more calories. The same goes for your hunger level; if you want to maintain a healthy diet, eat when you’re hungry!
2. Eat The Right Amount Of Protein In Each Meal.
Protein is one of the most important nutrients in the body, so it’s worth noting that it needs to be taken into consideration with your meals and snacks. In fact, according to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight on a daily basis. Protein helps keep your muscles healthy and in good shape allowing them to work efficiently throughout your day and keep up with your daily activities without feeling tired or sore.
3. Eat A Variety Of Protein-Rich Foods.
The best way to get enough protein is to eat a variety of different protein-rich foods, such as chicken, beef, fish, eggs, and cheese. Meat is the most versatile and affordable source of protein for most people (and it’s also the healthiest way to get your recommended daily amount). Other sources of protein include beans and other legumes (such as tofu), nuts, seeds, and dairy products (such as milk). However, you should be careful about eating too much dairy; consuming too much can cause increased cholesterol levels in your blood which will increase your risk for heart disease.
4. Eat Lean Meat For Health Benefits.
Lean meat refers to meat that has less than 10% fat in it. Fat is the problem with excessive consumption of certain types of meat—it’s bad for you! Excess fat not only makes you more likely to gain weight, but it can increase your risk of heart disease and other types of cancer as well.
5. Eat Lean Fish Every Day.
Fish is a very healthy food that will keep your heart healthy, help you lose weight, and protect you against cancer and diabetes. Fish is also an excellent source of protein (and one of the most affordable) so it’s a great way to get the recommended amount of protein in your diet!
How To Make Pad Thai Healthier?
1. Add More Vegetables
It’s not uncommon to find a pad thai dish consisting of mostly noodles and protein, but adding more vegetables will enhance this dish’s healthiness. This is especially true when you choose the right vegetables and cook them in a way that makes them easier to digest. One of the most popular ways to prepare pad thai is by adding bean sprouts, which are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E. They also help fill you up for longer periods of time because they are low in calories. You can also add cabbage or lettuce for a healthy boost of vitamins A and C. Choosing the right kind of bean sprouts is important because some varieties are high in sodium!
2. Cut Down On Oil
If you’re feeling like your meal needs a little extra flavor—and it does—you can always add some oil to your dish to achieve it. Some people like to use olive oil, but other people opt for a more healthy option: coconut oil. Coconut oil is high in fat, which makes it perfect for adding to a dish that doesn’t need as much flavor as pad thai does, such as an omelet. You can also add coconut milk to your dish if you would prefer not to use oil or butter.
3. Add Some Spice
Pad thai is traditionally made with tamarind sauce and fish sauce, both of which are high in sodium and both of which are used to add flavor and moisture. However, you can adorn your meal with the right spices to make it more nutritious and flavorful without sacrificing taste! One of the best ways to add a little spice is by using curry powder or chili flakes (if you don’t want any heat) in place of tamarind sauce or fish sauce. Both curry powder and chili flakes have plenty of rich antioxidants that will help boost your immune system and protect you against cancer.
Pad thai may be a popular Asian dish, but it’s also high in sodium, fat, and calories. It’s important to keep your diet balanced with nutritious foods and reasonable portion sizes. It’s possible to make pad thai healthier by choosing healthier ingredients and reducing the amount of oil used when cooking it.