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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.
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
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.
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
"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.
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
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

Join The Conversation
misstiffie misstiffie 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 years
mmmmm, satay with peanut sauce! Yum, now i am hungry. is it weird i have never heard of "mee-krob"?
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I am so glad escargot wasn't on the the avoid list it is one of my favorite things yummY!
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 years
Aw, man! All the stuff that I get at those places is squarely in the avoid column
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
Bummer - all my favorites are on the avoid list :(
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 10 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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