30 Aug Nutrition : a look at the Bangkok expat diet
Whether it’s 4am or 4pm, the thousands of food stalls, restaurants and eateries of Bangkok are always ready to delight your palate with their never-ending list of exotic dishes.
The choice is vast but almost all of the local culinary propositions involve an ingredient that many of us shouldn’t include in their diet: white rice.
Italians eat pasta two to three times per day and they are among the leanest people in Europe. Asians have rice with every single dish and they are among the leanest people in the World. Then what about the rest of us? Are we doomed to eat whole grain rice and brown bread for the rest of our lives if we are to remain slim?
Be a GI Joe
Research suggests that although genetics play a more, eating habits do their part as well. People that are introduced to high GI (glycemic index) foods early in their life tend to develop some kind of resistance and are better prepared to withstand the insulin spikes that white rice or white bread produce.
However, if you’re like me (caucasian that is) your childhood diet had probably – if your parents tried to keep you slender – an even mix of carbs, veg, and proteins, without too much emphasis on high GI foods, which is nutritionally speaking, very sound.
So in case you’re a Bangkok dweller and have a hard time finding rice-free dishes, don’t worry, you’re not an exception. Foods can be categorized as follows: low GI, medium GI, high GI. You don’t need to be a nutrition expert or carry a GI table in your pocket to make the right food choices, though. The glycemic index of foods can be intuitively figured out based on their category or color:
– vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, generally have a low GI (less than 55)
– whole wheat, basmati rice, sweet potatoes, etc.. have a medium GI (56-69)
– white bread, white rice, corn flakes, etc… have a high GI (70 up)
As a rule of thumb, the darker a food item is (save Oreos…) the lower its glycemic index.
We all know how tough it is to stick to rules, plans, commandments and orders when it comes to dictate what we put in our mouths. Fully aware of that fact, the Aspire Club has the systems you need to stay focused, committed and accountable. Fighting your way through the Bangkok nutritional jungle will feel that much easier when you have a seasoned guide on your side.
Reach out and discuss the challenges you face right here @fitcorpasia. Our pro tips are just a tweet away!