Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, the department’s directorgeneral, issued the caution after TasteAtlas, an online travel guide for foodies, put pa thong ko on its list of 10 best Thai dishes, reports Bangkok Post.
Online “best of …” lists tend to go viral quickly, and in the case of food, the mere mention of a dish can cause sales to skyrocket for a few days until the next craze comes along.
In the case of pa thong ko, a 100-gramme serving contains as much as 441 calories and a pair of medium-sized pa thong ko contains 132 calories.
“Pa thong ko is a snack that contains carbohydrates and saturated fat and gives high energy. It suits those who need more energy,” Dr Suwannachai said.
“But it also has high sodium content from baking powder and salt. So, it’s not good for those with an overactive thyroid and hypertension.”
A lot of pa thong ko, he noted, is fried with used cooking oil which can contain carcinogens.
“People should buy pa thong ko fried with new cooking oil which looks light brown and they should not have more than two pairs a day,” he said.
Dr Suwannachai also advises against consuming pa thong ko with dip, which might come as a disappointment to aficionados who like to slather their doughy treats with sweetened condensed milk.
Instead, he recommends eating pa thong ko with fruits that are not too sweet, and cereals such as red beans, hairy basil seeds, barley and job’s tears because their fibre will absorb the fat.
And if you like to wash down your pa thong ko with cha Thai, you might want to think again, Dr Suwannachai says of the sweet drink that TasteAtlas ranked the 40th best non-alcoholic drink in the world.
A 200-millilitre glass of cha Thai contains 430 calories and the equivalent of up to 13 teaspoons of sugar, but a consumer should not have more than six teaspoons of sugar a day, he said
“Drinking it every day carries risks of diabetes, stroke, coronary artery disease, cancer, hypertension, high cholesterol and fatness,” he said.
Healthy Thai iced tea should be less sweet with no more than two teaspoons of sugar per serving, he advised.
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