Thai Food Nutrition Facts: Menu Choices & Calories

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If you love light, fresh vegetables, seafood, and meat then you'll love many of the menu items at Thai restaurants. But not everything on a Thai menu is nutritious or suitable for your particular eating plan. Find out what to order and what to avoid to keep your eating program or weight loss plan on track when you eat Thai food.

Thai Menu Nutrition

Many of the menus at Thai restaurants are quite extensive. If you are not familiar with Thai food, you might get overwhelmed trying to navigate page after page.

Many traditional Thai restaurants serve curries. While you might be familiar with the common spice blend called curry, a "curry" served in a Thai restaurant is slightly different. Thai curries are creamy dishes (sometimes soupy) that usually include coconut milk, curry paste, vegetables, herbs, and meat or seafood.


Curries come in different spice levels such as spicy red curry, sweet and spicy green curry, lightly sweet and spicy Panang curry, or the mild massaman curry that is often sweet and peanutty.

Curries can be higher in calories because of the coconut milk that is usually one of the main ingredients. But if you order a very spicy curry, you may eat less of it.

If you prefer less spicy food, there is still plenty to enjoy on a Thai menu that will keep your diet on track. Fresh meat and seafood, fruits, herbs, and vegetables are all popular ingredients in Asian food.

This Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Is a Simple One-Pot Meal

Pad Thai Calories and Nutrition

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for a 1-cup serving (200g) of chicken pad Thai.1

  • Calories: 306

  • Fat: 14.1g

  • Sodium: 684mg

  • Carbohydrates: 28.6g

  • Fiber: 2.4g

  • Sugars: 8.3g

  • Protein: 17.5g

One of the most popular dishes on a Thai menu is pad Thai. Pad Thai is stir-fried rice noodles with egg, bean curd, bean sprouts, scallions, and crushed peanuts. There is usually some variation in the dish from restaurant to restaurant. You often order pad Thai with meat, seafood, or tofu. Because there are different variations, pad Thai calories can vary as well.

While the dish isn't usually the highest calorie option on a Thai menu, it does provide significant calories because it is stir-fried using oil, and because the dish includes peanuts. Pad Thai nutrition is sometimes called into question because of the sugar in the dish.

Most people don't expect a savory dish to be high in sugar, but a single serving provides 8.3 grams. Lastly, Pad Thai is high in sodium, so it may not be an ideal option for those watching their salt intake.

What about the nutrition for other popular dishes? Many are made with rice or with cellophane noodles. These are clear noodles made from starch and water. According to USDA data, one cup of cellophane noodles provides 491 calories, 121 grams of carbohydrate, and less than one gram of fat and protein.2

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