Is pho noodles healthy?


In recent years, pho, a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup, has seen a rise in popularity as a result of the widespread perception that it is a nutritious alternative to other meal choices. But can pho actually qualify as a nutritious option? In this article, we will discuss the nutritional content of pho as well as the possible positive and negative effects that ingesting it may have on one’s health.

What exactly is Pho?

The classic Vietnamese food known as pho is made up of rice noodles, a savory broth, and a wide range of herbs and garnishes. It is served in a bowl. The rich and delicious taste of the broth is often achieved by cooking the bones of beef or chicken with various spices and aromatics for a number of hours in a pot on the stove. Rice-flour-based noodles provide a gluten-free alternative to its wheat-flour-based counterparts and are used in the preparation of pho.

Pho’s Contribution to a Healthy Diet

The ingredients that are used and the amount that is served may both have a significant impact on the nutritional value of pho. On the other hand, the following nutrients may be found in a standard bowl of pho:

  • Calories: A bowl of pho that’s around the size of a medium-sized bowl has about 350 to 400 calories, making it a dinner choice that’s reasonably low in calories.
  • Carbohydrates: Pho noodles are a source of carbs, and depending on the size of the dish, they may provide anywhere from 60 to 80 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Protein: Protein is often obtained from the bones of cow or chicken, which are used to make the broth for pho. This broth may contain a substantial quantity of protein. Protein content in a bowl of pho may range anywhere from 10 to 50 grams, depending on the kind of meat and how much of it is used in the dish.
  • Fat: The quantity of fat that is in pho varies based on the kind of beef and the cut of meat that is used to make the broth. On the other hand, the majority of pho broths have a somewhat low amount of fat, with a normal serving comprising between between 5 and 10 grams.

Possible Positive Effects of Pho on Health

When taken as part of a diet that is both balanced and diverse, pho has the potential to provide a number of health advantages, including the following:

1. Beneficial to One’s Protein Intake

The bones of cow or chicken used to make pho soup are an excellent source of protein, which is necessary for the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. In addition, eating foods high in protein helps people feel fuller for longer, which might make it easier to control their weight.

2. Reduced in Fat

Since the majority of pho broths are quite low in fat, this dish is an excellent choice for those who are attempting to minimize the amount of fat they take in on a daily basis. In addition, the majority of the fat found in pho soup is unsaturated, which is a form of fat that is generally seen as being more beneficial to one’s health.

3. Composed of Veggies and Various Herbs

Bean sprouts, basil, and cilantro are examples of the many different types of vegetables and herbs that are commonly used in pho. These ingredients provide a wide array of nutrients and antioxidants. These components may assist to promote general health and shield against the development of chronic disorders.

4. Gluten-Free Choice

Traditional wheat-based noodles may be replaced with gluten-free alternatives like pho noodles, which are manufactured from rice flour instead of wheat flour. This may be advantageous for persons with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Possible Drawbacks Associated with Pho

While though pho has the potential to provide a number of positive health advantages, there are also a few possible negatives that should be taken into consideration:

1. Very High in Sodium

The sodium content of pho broth is often high, with an average dish having between 800 and 1200 mg of sodium. This may be troublesome for persons with high blood pressure or other diseases that necessitate a low-sodium diet.

2. High in Carbohydrates

Since they are a source of carbs, pho noodles might provide a challenge for those who are attempting to control their blood sugar levels via diet or who are following a diet that is low in carbohydrates.

3. Including a Number of Additives

The pho soup served at certain restaurants may include chemicals like MSG or artificial flavors, both of which are known to have the potential to cause adverse health consequences in some people.


In conclusion, pho, when taken in moderation, has the potential to be a delicious and nutritious alternative for a dinner. Since it is an excellent source of protein and has a relatively low amount of fat, it is an excellent choice for those who want to keep their weight in a healthy range or minimize the amount of fat they take in on a daily basis. In addition, the vegetables and herbs that go into making pho are sources of a wide variety of nutrients and antioxidants, which further contribute to the overall health benefits of the dish.

On the other hand, it is very necessary to be informed of the possible downsides of pho. Those who have high blood pressure or any of the other disorders that call for a diet low in sodium should exercise caution while consuming pho soup because of the high salt level. In addition, because of the large amount of carbohydrates that are included in pho noodles, eating them may not be a good idea for those who have diabetes or who are following a diet that is low in carbohydrates.

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