Did You Know? Avoiding the broth and eating only the veggies, noodles, and the meat will help reduce the intake of sodium from pho soup.
Pho soup is a popular Vietnamese dish, which is essentially a combination of broth, meat (beef or chicken), noodles, vegetables, and herbs. This broth-based noodle soup is often consumed during breakfast in Vietnam. A common street food in Vietnam, pho soup can be made in a variety of styles to suit one's individual taste. The following write-up discusses the nutritional aspect of pho soup.
Is Pho Soup Healthy?
Having a regular bowl of pho soup, which is around 619 g is an easy way to stock up on proteins, vitamins, and minerals. However, it is strongly advised to limit its intake as it is found to be high in salt content.
Percent values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
||Pho Soup (691 g)
With chicken or beef as the main ingredient of pho soup, one can definitely say that it is a high-quality protein source. When it comes to building muscles, the first thing that we are advised is to eat proteins and what better way than adding a bowl of pho soup to your diet. With a bowl of pho soup containing a whopping 24 g of protein, it can be a great addition to your meals.
The meat in pho soup is also a good source of essential minerals like iron and zinc. Iron helps in maintaining healthy blood cells, while zinc keeps the skin and hair healthy. The soup contains a whopping 20% daily recommended intake of iron. Calcium, the bone building mineral is also present in pho soup, which is around 4% of the recommended dietary intake.
Including pho soup in your diet will ensure that you get a dose of vitamins, that play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. The bean sprouts, lemon juice, and onion used in making the soup provide vitamins like A, B, and C. Herbs like ginger, garlic, and cinnamon that are used to make the soup more flavorful are also well-known for their health-promoting benefits.
Although vegetables are present in pho soup, they are far less in comparison to the amount of meat and noodles. However, when making the soup at home, you can always replace noodles and add more vegetables like carrots and cabbage to enhance its nutritional value.
Its sodium content is a major disadvantage from a health standpoint. Whether you have a small or a medium-sized bowl, its sodium content is in excess, which is a point of concern. A 619 g serving of pho soup contains around 384 g of sodium. However, if you have a larger bowl of soup, the sodium content may further increase and may go well over 500 g.
The daily recommended intake of sodium is around 1500 mg. So after having pho soup, you need to be cautious about your sodium consumption for the remaining part of the day. Too much consumption of pho soup can actually increase the intake of sodium, thereby increasing the chances of developing high blood pressure.
Cholesterol and Fat
Pho soup contains meat, which is often found to be moderately high in cholesterol and fats. A bowl of soup contains 2 g of saturated fat (10% of RDA) and 35 mg of cholesterol (12% of RDA).
However, the choice of meat added in the soup can make a huge difference in reducing its fat content. For instance, prefer lean cuts of meat as they are found to be significantly low in cholesterol and fats. The round cuts of beef are considered to be extra-lean and including them while preparing the dish can make it healthier. In short, pho soup made from lean cuts of meat can be added in your weight loss diet.
Carbohydrates mainly come from rice noodles, one of the important ingredients of pho soup. It is essentially refined carbohydrates (51 g per serving) which can also increase your blood pressure. So instead of rice noodles, opt for whole wheat noodles to add heart-healthy fiber to your dish.
On a positive side, since the ingredients of pho soup resemble those of chicken soup (known to relieve common cold), its intake can help treat nasal congestion, cough and even sore throat. On the whole, pho soup can always be customized to however you like it. By adding lean meat, your favorite veggies, and herbs, pho soup can certainly be part of a healthy meal.
Pho soup available in restaurants is often high in salts and also packs a calorie punch. So making the soup at home is a healthier option as it gives you the choice of ingredients to make it nutritious.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a qualified nutritionist.