Some of these popular dishes can be wildly deceiving, but it’s true… While their delicious flavor is unparalleled, they’re also full of calories.
While the United States is home to several restaurant chains that are downright unhealthy, international cuisines also sometimes lean towards the sinful side. Even the foreign foods that are thought of as healthy can be secretly loaded with calories. The opposite is true too—some cuisines that are widely regarded as being full of comfort food, like Italian cuisine, also have a few dishes that are low in calories. So how’s a calorie-conscious eater supposed to know what’s safe and what to stay away from? Glad you asked! Read on to find out which ‘healthy’ international foods are actually loaded with calories.
Pad Thai: 1131 Calories
Thailand is thought of by many to be a destination fit for health fanatics as opposed to comfort eaters. But the fresh flavors of Thai food aren’t always so guilt-free. One of the most popular Thai dishes among international foodies, pad Thai, can be up to 1,131 calories when made with chicken.
There are healthier options available in Thai cuisine, but dishes like pad Thai are often high in starchy carbs and calories. If you’re really craving this dish, you could always make a lighter version yourself using more chicken than noodles or even creating a vegan option with tofu. When eating Thai food, it’s also important to be mindful of ingredients such as fish sauce, curry paste, and shrimp paste, which can all be high in sodium
Sushi: Up To 508 Calories
Not all sushi was created equal, however. If you’re minding your calories and craving sushi, opt for choices that are fresh rather than fried. Also, try to avoid rolls that are slathered in mayo. By comparison, you can have eight pieces of fresh tuna sushi with cucumber for just 184 calories.
Veggie Nachos: 836 Calories
This is devastating news for those of us who love Mexican food. But unfortunately, nachos are one of those ‘healthy’ takeaways that are actually loaded with calories, even if you get the vegetarian option. While you are cutting calories by removing the meat content, most veggie nachos are flavored with large quantities of ingredients that are super high in calories, including sour cream, guacamole, and cheese. A serving of veggie nachos can be up to 836 calories if it’s loaded with all the bells and whistles.
As opposed to Tex-Mex food, traditional Mexican cuisine is lighter and often based on fresh ingredients such as tomato rather than full-fat cheese, sour cream, and deep-fried tortilla chips. Seek out authentic Mexican choices rather than Tex-Mex when it comes to eating out if you want to limit the number of calories you’re having. Alternatively, you could always make your own nachos at home using fresh ingredients and holding back on the cheese and cream.
Curry: 1000 Calories
Curry is often thought of as a healthy takeout option or a safe choice to order at a restaurant. But according to BBC Food, a single serving of curry can contain more than 1000 calories. Often eaten with naan bread or rice, curry isn’t always the best choice when you’re trying to cut back on calories. Some curries are higher in calories than others, with popular dishes like chicken tikka masala having around 1,249 calories per serve. Tomato-based, drier currier, such as madras or rogan josh, tend to have fewer calories.
Other popular items that you might want to stay away from at an Indian restaurant if you’re trying to be healthy include pakoras, saag paneer, samosas, and deep-fried poppadum. Again making your own curry at home gives you total control over the dish and allows you to cut calories by substituting certain ingredients.
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