If you read BK Magazine on a regular basis, chances are you love to eat. But how do you manage street food binges on Dinsor Road with balanced meals that give your body what it needs? What does your body actually need anyway? We recently teamed up with Bumrungrad Hospital’s Dr. Chulaporn Roongpisuthipong to get the answers to some of your most common food-related health questions.
What’s one of the biggest myths about healthy eating you commonly see right now?
Probably the fear of carbohydrates. People with otherwise healthy lifestyles do this a lot, and it’s something that doctors definitely don’t recommended. Carbs are one of the five essential nutrients your body needs to function properly, and it’s OK to consume them.
We love street food but everything we read says it’s bad for us in the long term. How can we make healthy choices here?
There are two things to keep in mind: hygiene and cooking method. This can sometimes be hard with street food, but check the stall to make sure they are keeping things clean, and always go for food that is cooked properly, not left out in the sun. Please stay away from the raw stuff, too.
I’m 25 and my metabolism is great. How long can I expect this dream to last?
The metabolism in the human body usually starts to degrade around age 25-35. Then, you have to be a lot smarter about how you eat or else you are going to pay for it down the road with health problems.
In terms of eating out, what are some of the least healthy things I could order?
One thing you should make a conscious effort to avoid is sugar. The maximum daily amount is only six teaspoons, any more than that over a long period and you are looking at future health problems like diabetes. Desserts, soft drinks and many common sweet foods can put you over that threshold easily if you are not careful.
We love to put eggs on top of fried dishes like pad krapow. How bad are eggs for our cholesterol?
Actually, eggs are fine, and they’re one of the best protein sources for our bodies at any age, especially children and the elderly. We’ve conducted medical research that proves this. We added an egg to the meals of high-cholesterol patients for a period of time, and it turns out the eggs they ate daily didn’t have an adverse effect on their cholesterol levels.
Is it better to work out on an empty stomach or eat a snack first? All we see are conflicting opinions everywhere.
Eating before a workout is fine, but how much food depends on what you are trying to do. If you are about to hit the gym, a banana is really all you need to get you through the workout. A marathon, on the other hand, is going to require a larger, more protein-rich meal. It boils down to how you feel. If you get hungry during workouts, then eat beforehand.
We’re worried a lot of organic products these days are just marketing gimmicks. Is there any way to make sure our organic choices are really healthy like they say they are?
Not in Thailand, unfortunately. We don’t have the proper certification bodies in place to guarantee organic food as authentically organic.
We’ve heard eating before bed can make you gain weight. Is that true?
That’s not true. It depends on the calories you consume each day. If you have a long day without any meals except a single plate of pad krapao topped with a fried egg, you won’t gain any weight. On the other hand, a single meal with 2,000 calories, like a massive breakfast, will still affect your weight even if you don’t eat anything else during the day. It comes down to the number of calories you consume and burn, not when you eat them.
Nuea Toon Nang Loeng
Kaprow Khun Por
Bumrungrad International is the first Asian Joint Commission International accredited, multi-specialty hospital located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Founded in 1980, it is one of the largest private hospitals in Southeast Asia, with 580 beds and over 39 specialty centers. Bumrungrad International offers state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and intensive care facilities in a one-stop medical center. www.bumrungrad.com