Everyday choices: Thai favourites

Everyone loves the punchy flavour of a Thai takeaway. We compare two classic dishes to see which is healthier.

Thai green curry

2360kJ; 26g protein; 43g fat; 32g saturated fat; 15g carbs; 7g fibre; 840mg sodium; 1/2 vege serve

A typical version of this has wonderful fresh flavours of Thailand from ingredients such as coriander, chilli, lime, fish sauce and chilli paste, often with chicken or another protein and a few veges. The curry sauce is made from coconut cream.


Pad Thai

2140kJ; 21g protein; 18g fat; 2g saturated fat; 65g carbs; 4g fibre; 880mg sodium; 1 vege serve

Thailand’s signature noodle dish, with sweet, sour and salty flavours from tamarind paste, lime, peanuts, chilli, and fish sauce, along with interesting texture from rice noodles, bean sprouts, egg, and a protein such as prawns, tofu or chicken.

The coconut cream, and the amount used, means a Thai green curry is very high in saturated fat. This example came out at 32g saturated fat, and is one-third more than is recommended as the upper limit in an 8700kJ day. Add a cup of rice and you have a high-energy 3200kJ meal.

If you love Thai green curry, we suggest you save it for a special occasion.

Both green curry and pad Thai have the potential to be high in sodium, depending on the amount of fish sauce used.

Pad Thai is a better option, but with either of these, some extra veges are essential.

First published: April 2017

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