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Ethnic Eating Out Tips: Thai, Indian and French

Navigating through a restaurant menu is often tough, but it's even harder when you're navigating through yummy food that you're not totally familiar with. WebMD has created an easy choose/avoid list for the next time you eat Thai, Indian and French.

THAI: My personal take out favorite, but it's definitely tough to sort through the often extensive menus.
Choose-
Sauces: lemon grass, lime, curry, sweet and sour, basil, chili, fish sauce
Stir-fried, sautéed, and braised dishes
Thai salads
Basil rolls
Broth soups
Any dish with lots of vegetables
Bean thread noodles
Seafood, tofu, poultry, lean meats
"Satays" -- skewered meat
Avoid-
Dishes made with coconut or coconut milk
Sauces with peanuts
Fried foods, including fried spring rolls
"Mee-krob" -- crispy noodles

To see what to choose/avoid when eating Indian and French,

INDIAN: Curry is the name of the game here, but there are also a lot of fried food land mines, so be careful.
Choose-
Basmati rice
Legumes (chickpeas and lentils)
Vegetable dishes
Yogurt-based sauces
Lean meats, poultry, and seafood
Mulligatawny or lentil soup
"Papad" -- baked lentil wafer
Tikki, tandoori, or kebab preparations
Avoid-
"Ghee" -- clarified butter
"Molee" -- coconut milk or cream
Any kind of fried foods
High-fat beef and lamb dishes
Creamy curry sauce
"Korma" -- cream sauce
(Limit portions of coconut and nuts)

FRENCH: French women could get fat if they stick to the foods on the avoid list.
Choose-
Broth-based soups
Plain vegetables
Vegetable salads with light vinegar-based dressing
Wine or mustard sauces without cream
Roasted or grilled lean meats, poultry, and fish
Avoid-
Cream soups
Cream or cheese sauces: au gratin, hollandaise, béarnaise, béchamel
Caesar salads or any with creamy dressings
Anything fried or seasoned with breadcrumbs
Pate, fatty meats, duck, and sausages

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Join The Conversation
misstiffie misstiffie 8 years
when i go out to enjoy ethnic foods, i go out TO ENJOY it. i eat healthy most of the time so why not indulge?
JLew1982 JLew1982 8 years
I'd love to see tips for Mexican, too. It's the one thing I love that I can't give up!
SunshineDaydream SunshineDaydream 9 years
Indian is my absolute FAVORITE!!! I love to get Saag Paneer, and mix it will Aloo Gobi, or veggie Tikka Masala. YUM!!
DStirk DStirk 9 years
mmmmm, satay with peanut sauce! Yum, now i am hungry. is it weird i have never heard of "mee-krob"?
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I am so glad escargot wasn't on the the avoid list it is one of my favorite things yummY!
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
Portion control is also a big factor. I'm sure outside America the food in Thailand, India and France the portions are much smaller that our super-size versions, so they can more likely eat anything off the menu and not gain too much weight off of it.
lorioz lorioz 9 years
All the good stuff is on the avoid list... but life is to short not to have a lovely meal once and a while. It's not like I eat bad foods everyday.
kscincotta kscincotta 9 years
I'm a pretty picky eater, so there only a few things at Thai and Indian restaurants that I really love. And unfortunately, they're all on the avoid lists! Good thing I don't eat at those places all that often.
Marci Marci 9 years
This is really easy for me since I don't like Thai or Indian food at all, and am not a fan of sauces so I always order simple dishes when at a French restaurant. If it were only that easy for me when the dessert menu arrives!
puddinpie puddinpie 9 years
^All my favourites are on the "avoid" list too, but I still order them and maybe try to fit in an extra workout. Or order one of the fattier items, one healthy one, and share with your date. :) I refuse to diet! ;)
SFKitkat SFKitkat 9 years
Aw, man! All the stuff that I get at those places is squarely in the avoid column
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Bummer - all my favorites are on the avoid list :(
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
Oooh, I love ethnic food. I'll try anything once! This column would be great carrying over to other types of cuisines too.
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