Whether you visit a Vietnamese restaurant or you make it at home, a bowl of pho is one of the best comfort foods. This tasty soup contains plenty of nutrients that your body needs. Plus, the mix of vegetables, spices, meat, broth, herbs and rice noodles is simply delicious.
But is pho healthy when you are counting calories? Pho usually has around 200 calories but this can vary depending on the individual ingredients. In this article, we find out how many calories a bowl of pho has and whether this healthy soup can help you lose weight.
What Is Pho?
Pho is a traditional soup from Vietnam that has a variety of different ingredients, including salty broth, spices, herbs, noodles and meat.
Pho is traditionally enjoyed as a breakfast meal in Vietnam but you can also treat yourself to this tasty soup any other time of the day.
How Many Calories Are In Pho?
Pho can have as little as 200 calories if you eat a small bowl of pho. However, if you consume a medium-sized bowl of pho, then you can expect up to 450 calories on average. This is the typical calorie intake of a big meal. Plus, it’s 20% of your daily calorie intake.
This being said, the amount of calories in pho depends on the type of noodles, the toppings, the type of broth and the type of meat you use in your soup.
Especially the meat can significantly impact the number of pho calories because it depends on the amount of fat in your meat.
In addition, you also need to consider the size of the pho bowl you eat. A smaller bowl has fewer calories than a large bowl.
It’s easier to control the calorie count of pho when you make the soup yourself at home. Then you can check the calories of each ingredient.
In comparison, pho served in a restaurant could contain hidden ingredients which makes it difficult to find out the exact calories.
Nutritional Value Of Pho
Pho contains a great variety of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Your average homemade beef pho contains:
- Over 200 calories
- 5.5 g of fat
- 25 g of carbohydrates
- 1.20 g of fiber
- 15 g of fiber
- 1.9 g of sugar
- 1200 mg of sodium
Why Is Pho High In Calories?
The calories in pho can vary depending on the type of meat, broth and noodles you use. If you use high-fat meat, then your pho also contains more calories.
In order to cut down on calories in your homemade pho, you can use high-fiber noodles and a leaner protein source.
Health Benefits Of Pho
Pho is considered a healing broth in Vietnam. This strong soup can help you recover from flu and cold in winter and it strengthens your immune system.
The Ginger In Pho Is Anti-Inflammatory
Pho contains a great variety of spices, including ginger. Ginger gives pho antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
This makes pho a perfect soup for any time when you are feeling low energy. You can enjoy pho as comfort food to warm your body and soul.
Pho Supports Your Stomach
Thanks to the ginger and other herbs, pho is good for the stomach. It soothes any stomach upsets and helps your digestion.
These properties for the digestive system make pho ideal for any time when you are feeling ill or you are experiencing stomach pains.
Pho Is Gluten-Free
Another great health benefit of pho soup is that it’s free from gluten. This means that people with gluten intolerance or a gluten allergy can enjoy pho.
Just make sure that you use a traditional pho recipe that uses rice noodles as they don’t contain any gluten. Any other type of noodles, such as egg noodles, are not gluten-free.
Vary Pho According To Your Taste
Another great advantage of pho soup is that you can vary the ingredients and adapt them to your preferred diet. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or a meat-eater, just mix any soup ingredients you like into your pho.
Pho Contains A Lot Of Protein
Whatever protein source you choose, pho contains a large amount of protein and nutrients. If you prefer your pho to be meaty, then you can add your preferred beef or chicken to the broth. If you are vegan or vegetarian, then swap the meat with tofu and plant-based protein.
Pho Is A Low-Calorie Meal
A standard-sized bowl of pho soup contains only under 500 calories. While this is almost a quarter of your daily calorie intake, it’s much lower than many other breakfast or lunch options. You can lower the calories in your pho if you use low-calorie meat or veggie broth.
Potential Health Risks Of Pho
While pho has a lot of healthy ingredients, there are also a number of different downsides to this dish.
High In Salt
Pho contains a very high amount of salt which can lead to increased blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
A Lot Of Carbs
Besides a large amount of sodium in pho, it also contains a lot of carbohydrates which can increase your blood sugar levels. This means that eating a lot of pho can lead to serious health conditions, such as diabetes.
Is Pho Good For Weight Loss?
Depending on the pho ingredients, pho soup is ideal for weight loss. It can contain a large amount of protein combined with low calories and carbs.
If you make this flavorful soup at home, then just use lean protein sources and noodles that contain a good amount of fiber.
Is Pho Good For Colds?
Yes, pho soup is ideal for colds because it contains a number of spices that soothe breathing difficulties, such as ginger, anise and coriander. The chicken or meat broth also means that it’s easy to digest when you are ill.
Pho soup is packed with healthy nutrients. This makes it a low-calorie meal that you can enjoy at any time of the day.
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