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Article / Travel Thai food: Why Thai people are not fat

For 15 days, my friends and I had the chance to visit Thailand. This holiday trip took us from the North (Chiang Mai) to the South where we visited some paradisiac islands, to finally end up in Bangkok, the world reference for quality street food. Although we were literally amazed by the beauty of the different landscapes, our trip quickly turned into a food experience. What do you expect when you place 3 food lovers (2 Cypriots and 1 French) in a food heaven..? For 15 days, we went with the flow and ate in most of the places we found on our way, only those where locals go. We ordered what other Thai people ordered, cooked in the same way (i.e. spicy) and we collected a series of footages displaying samples of what Thai food is. The Thai people love food, actually they seem to be eating all the time. Sometimes 6 times a day! The most frustrating paradoxe for Europeans and Americans is that people from Thailand are slim, very slim.

Spicy noodles

Based on our observations, here are the reasons why we think Thai people are not fat: Thai people do eat mostly fresh ingredients. From what we have seen, if it’s not alive they don’t eat it! Most of the food places have fish tanks. Live fish are displayed, you choose the one you want and they cook it for you. The freshness makes the taste unique. When it comes to meat, I’m not going to say that they kill the chicken in front of you but it’s not far from being true, most probably it was killed in the morning. You can clearly taste the difference between a frozen chicken and a fresh one. For vegetarians, Thai cuisine also consists of fresh vegetables cooked in a delicious way. Tofu is often used as a substitute for meat. Thai people do eat more often than Europeans and Americans and snack more. They typically have a good breakfast, followed by a snack an hour and a half later. Then comes the lunch, another snack in the afternoon, a snack before dinner, then dinner. People who eat several small meals throughout the day are less likely to overeat because they stay relatively satiated. Smaller portions. We never fell full after a meal. So we had to compensate with Thai beer :-) Thai people do not eat too much meat. Meat is present in many dishes but always in small portions and mixed with vegetables, sauce and rice. Furthermore dishes are often shared with your friend the same way as Greeks do.

Watch the movie:

Thai people do eat fish almost everyday. Fish provides omega 3. Thai people do eat less wheat. Eggs and rice-based noodles are very present in Thai cuisine. Some might say that eating rice makes you fat but eating more rice makes you actually eat less wheat. Thai people do eat less sweets. They either drink water, tea or beer during a meal. And desserts are occasional. Thai people eat spicy food. Herbs and spices help you burn calories and protect you against heart diseases. Thai people eat slowly. and eating half full is encouraged. That is why Thai people have a better digestion.

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