Pho, Deconstructed

FUELED Wellness with Molly
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Vietnamese cuisine is soaring in popularity, and pho is one of many people’s favorite Vietnamese menu items.  But is that steaming bowl really as nutritious as we think it is?  Here’s an up-close look at how pho measures up, and how to tweak it to make it even better for you, in this week’s Get the Skinny on WGNO.


Nutritional stats vary depending on serving size, type of meat, and amount of noodles added

On average, a medium bowl of beef pho contains the equivalent of:

  • 3-4 ounces of meat
  • 6 ounces of noodles
  • 20 ounces of broth
  • Assortment of fresh herbs, onions, peppers, and bean sprouts

Estimated nutritional stats per medium bowl of beef pho:

  • 350 to 450 calories
  • 35 to 50 grams of carbs
  • 30 grams of protein
  • 1500 mg of sodium

Keep pho low in saturated fat with lean protein choices like fllank steak, eye of round, seafood, chicken (instead of higher fat options like meatballs or brisket).  Even tripe and beef tendon are lean options.


Request double meat (or seafood or chicken) If you need more protein.


Request vegetables in place of noodles to save as much as 200 calories and 50 grams of carbs per medium bowl.  (Pplus you’ll be getting the added nutritional benefit of veggies like bok choy, cabbage, carrots, and bean sprouts).


The broth itself contains little or no oil, and is very low in calories, carbs, and fat – the main drawback is the high sodium content.

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