Thai cuisine is outstanding, probably one of the best in the world, and one of the cheapest. It can be the ideal of kind food for sportsmen, as it is very complete on a macro nutrients level. Although there are few “hidden” ingredients of which we should be aware of:
- Sugar (namtān): most of classic Thai recipes require the use of sugar for various reasons, one of them being its ability to balance spiciness, but unfortunately it is often abused. A very bad habit health-wise as well as for athletes that are currently trying to keep their weight in check.
- MSG (pong choo rót) or Monosodium Glutamate and also known as the father of the Umami flavor. We can find in it’s natural form in Parmesan cheese and in seaweed, for example. In most Asian kitchens (Thailand, China, Japan), it’s added in preparation in the form of powder; which not only can “dress up” an poor quality plate of food as a fine dish, but also can be bad for health if abused.
- Cooking Oil (namman) is widely used in Thai food as most dishes are stir fried or even deep fried. Normally it’s vegetable oil such as soybean, palm, peanut or in the best case sunflower oil (surely not olive oil – even though it doesn’t make any difference on a calories standpoint). Cooking with oil makes every dish taste amazing, no doubt about it, but unfortunately it is, probably, the most problematic of all, since it’s purely composed of fats and fats carry a very high amount of calories. Our solution is avoiding using of cooking oil and replace it with broth (as much as possible), or at least using a mix of both in order to keep calorie intake in range.
- Salt (kluea): less used compared to sugar, as it’s already found in the different sauces and condiments used by Thai chefs (soy sauce, fish sauce or oyster sauce). Salt can be an healthy supplement for athletes who are in shape and are already following an healthy diet (without consuming processed foods) while training hard, but at the same time can be harmful for those who need to lose a good amount of weight and/or don’t follow a proper nutrition plan/diet. At 7 Muay Thai Gym, we adjust salt depending on the subjects.
- Rot dee is a powder ingredient (evil in our opinion), as it contains three of the above ingredients. in one single sachet! (MSG + sugar + salt)
At this point, you are probably thinking ” How am I supposed to stay in shape during my trip to Thailand?”. It’s simple, or at least it can be once you get the hang of it.
Here some key phrases to learn in order to enjoy natural and healthy Thai food, with no additives, where the quality and flavour of the main ingredients is the main actor:
(“Mai dtong sai” means “do not put” – “duay” means “as well”)
- Mâi dtông sài Namtān krub (for men) / ka (for women)
- Mâi dtông sài Namman dûay krub/ka
- Mâi dtông sài Kluea dûay krub/ka
- Mâi dtông sài Rotdee dûay krub/ka
- Mâi dtông sài Pong Choo Rót dûay krub/ka
Certainly, all this requires effort, but it will be beneficial to your health.
At 7MT, we have instructed our staff who periodically check the food served at the camp. A useful service and much appreciated by those who have health as their priority.
Whether you come to Thailand for holiday or to practice Muay Thai, you do it for your own (mental and physical) well-being. “We are what we eat”, is a very true saying, therefore, a correct and clean nutrition is fundamental. A part of the holiday at 7 Muay Thai Gym & Beach Resort is also to be able to switch between Thai food and Italian food.