is pho keto friendly
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Is Pho Keto Friendly? Here’s What You Need to Know


Craving a tasty and nourishing soup that packs a flavorful punch? Look no further than Pho! This popular Vietnamese dish has won over many with its distinct mix of herbs, spices, and meats. But the burning question is: is pho keto friendly?

Let’s start with a quick explanation of what Pho is all about. This steamy bowl of goodness is made with rice noodles, herbs, and meat in a delicious broth. It’s a staple dish in Vietnamese cuisine known for its freshness and complexity of flavors. With a wide variety of meat options available, including beef, chicken, and seafood, there’s a Photo suit for every taste.

Meanwhile, the keto diet has gained popularity in recent years as a way to achieve weight loss and other health benefits. This low-carb, high-fat diet aims to put your body into ketosis, burning fat for fuel instead of carbs. But the main question on everyone’s mind: is Pho keto-friendly?

The answer is No. Traditional Pho noodles are high in carbs, which goes against the principles of the keto diet. However, alternative low-carb noodles can be used, such as zucchini or shirataki noodles. Additionally, you can request extra meat and veggies to help balance the missing carbs. So, while Pho may not be an ideal keto dish in its traditional form, there are ways to modify it to make it keto-friendly.

What is a keto diet?

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If you’ve been looking into different diets, you’ve probably heard about the keto diet. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to put your body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbs. This means you’ll eat a lot of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil while cutting out most carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and sugar. Some benefits of the keto diet include weight loss, improved mental clarity, and decreased inflammation.

However, there are also some drawbacks to the keto diet. Because you’re cutting out most carbohydrates, you may experience side effects like fatigue, headaches, and constipation. It’s also important to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients, as some people may need more fiber, vitamins, and minerals while on a diet. Additionally, the keto diet may not be sustainable for some people in the long term and may lead to weight gain once the diet is stopped.

What is Pho?

Pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup
Image by jcomp on Freepik

Are you a fan of Vietnamese cuisine? If so, you must have heard of Pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup made of noodles, broth, and various meats and vegetables. Pho has gained immense popularity recently thanks to its unique taste and health benefits.

Pho originated in northern Vietnam in the early 20th century, becoming a staple dish in Vietnamese culture. It is typically made with rice noodles, beef broth, and different cuts of beef or chicken. The broth is infused with spices such as ginger, star anise, and cinnamon, which give it a fragrant aroma and distinct flavor.

Regarding nutritional value, Pho is a healthy choice for any meal. The broth is low in calories and fat. At the same time, noodles and meat provide a good source of carbohydrates and protein, respectively. Additionally, the vegetables and herbs used in Pho, such as bean sprouts, basil, and lime, are high in vitamins and minerals, making it a well-rounded dish.

Pho Nutrition Facts

Nutritionally, pho can vary depending on its ingredients, especially if you do veggie versus beef, seafood, or another protein. But according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Data Central, one cup of a traditional, non-vegan, bowl of pho contains:

  • 215 calories
  • 5.51 grams of fat
  • 25.4 grams of carbs
  • 1.46 grams of fiber
  • 15 grams of protein

Is Pho keto-friendly?

Pho typically includes rice noodles, which are a high-carbohydrate ingredient and therefore not keto-friendly. However, there are options for making pho more keto-friendly. For example, you could ask for extra vegetables and herbs instead of noodles or opt for zucchini noodles instead of rice noodles. It’s also important to be mindful of the broth, as some may contain added sugar or starches.

Overall, it’s possible to make a keto-friendly version of pho by being selective with the ingredients used. It may require some adjustments and substitutions, but it’s possible to enjoy a steamy bowl of pho while staying within the keto diet guidelines.

As a keto enthusiast, I know how challenging it can be to get all the necessary nutrients on this low-carb, high-fat diet. I always use the Best Multivitamin for Keto Diet to meet my nutritional needs. Learn more about this top-rated supplement in my recent review!

How to make Pho keto-friendly

Regarding Pho, the traditional recipe typically includes rice noodles, which are a high-carbohydrate ingredient. However, by swapping the noodles for keto-friendly alternatives like shirataki noodles or zucchini noodles, you can significantly reduce the carb content of the dish. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that the broth and protein sources (usually beef or chicken) are free of added sugars or starches, as these can add to the carb count.

To make homemade keto Pho:

  1. Prepare a flavorful bone broth using beef or chicken bones, ginger, garlic, onions, and spices like star anise and cinnamon.
  2. Add your keto-friendly noodles, protein source, and various fresh vegetables like bok choy, bean sprouts, and scallions.
  3. Top it off with fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, and mint. You’ll have a delicious and nutritious keto-friendly version of Pho that you can enjoy anytime.

In conclusion, making Pho keto-friendly is possible with the right modifications and ingredients. By swapping traditional rice noodles for keto-friendly alternatives and ensuring that the broth and protein sources are free of added sugars or starches, you can enjoy this flavorful and nutritious soup without compromising your dietary restrictions. So why try it and see how delicious and satisfying keto Pho can be?


In conclusion, Pho is a delicious Vietnamese dish with a long history and is widely enjoyed worldwide. While it may not be suitable for a strict keto diet due to its high carb content, there are ways to make it keto-friendly by substituting certain ingredients. However, it’s important to note that homemade Pho can be a healthier option than restaurant versions, as you can control the elements and modify your dietary needs.

When it comes to the keto diet can be a great way to lose weight and improve your health if done correctly. However, it’s important to remember that a balanced and varied diet is essential for overall health and well-being. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

Ultimately, the key to a healthy and balanced diet is moderation and making informed choices. Whether you’re on a keto diet or not, enjoying a steaming bowl of Pho occasionally can be a satisfying and delicious treat. So go ahead and indulge in your favorite foods while nourishing your body with nutritious and wholesome meals.


Yu, C. (2020, March 13). Is Pho Healthy? Here Are The Benefits That Steamy Bowl Of Noodles Offers. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from Women’s Health website:

FoodData Central. (2023). Retrieved April 25, 2023, from website:

Mawer, R. (2020, October 22). The Ketogenic Diet: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide to Keto. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from Healthline website:

Shiffer, E. (2022, June 29). There’s No Question That Pho Is Delicious, but Is It Healthy? Nutritionists Weigh In. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from Parade: Entertainment, Recipes, Health, Life, Holidays website:

Joseph Emb
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Hi there! I'm Joseph Emb, a nutritionist and certified personal trainer passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. With over ten years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I've accumulated a great deal of knowledge that I love to share with my readers. I have a degree in exercise science and am proud to have been featured in reputable publications such as Men's Health and Women's Fitness. My goal with my blog is to inspire and empower others to take control of their health and live happier healthier lives.