Is Pho Keto Friendly? Exploring its Nutritional Value and Benefits

is pho keto friendly
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The ketogenic diet, known as “keto,” has gained popularity for its potential health benefits, particularly in weight loss and managing certain health conditions like epilepsy and diabetes. With its focus on low-carb, high-fat foods, individuals following a keto diet often seek out alternatives to traditional carb-heavy dishes. One dish that raises questions among keto enthusiasts is pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup known for its rich flavors and aromatic broth. In this article, we’ll delve into whether pho can be considered keto-friendly and explore its potential benefits for those following a ketogenic lifestyle.

Is Pho Keto Friendly?

The short answer: Yes, pho can be made keto-friendly with some modifications. Traditional pho typically includes rice noodles and may contain added sugars in the broth, making it unsuitable for those on a keto diet. However, by substituting rice noodles with low-carb options like zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles and using keto-approved sweeteners like monk fruit, pho can be adapted to fit within the parameters of a ketogenic diet.

Nutritional Value of Keto-Friendly Pho

Keto-friendly pho retains many of traditional pho’s nutritional benefits while offering a lower carbohydrate content. The broth, typically made from simmering bones for hours, is rich in collagen, minerals like calcium and magnesium, and various spices with antioxidant properties. Using lean cuts of meat like flank steak or chicken, keto pho provides a protein boost while keeping the fat content in check. Additionally, incorporating vegetables like zucchini or bean sprouts adds fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.

Effects on Keto Diet and Health Concerns

For individuals following a keto diet, incorporating keto-friendly pho can provide a satisfying and nutritious option that aligns with their dietary goals. However, it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes and ingredients used in the broth. Some pre-packaged or restaurant-made pho may contain hidden sugars or high-carb additives, which could derail ketosis. Homemade versions allow for better control over ingredients and can be tailored to individual preferences and dietary restrictions.

Practical Tips for Enjoying Keto Pho

Pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup
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  1. Make it at Home: Prepare keto pho from scratch using fresh ingredients to ensure it fits your dietary requirements.
  2. Choose Low-Carb Noodles: Opt for zucchini noodles, shirataki noodles, or other low-carb alternatives to replace traditional rice noodles.
  3. Mindful of Toppings: While traditional pho toppings like Thai basil and lime wedges can enhance flavor, be cautious of high-carb options like hoisin sauce or excessive bean sprouts.
  4. Watch for Hidden Sugars: Read labels carefully, especially when using pre-made broths or sauces, to avoid added sugars that could spike blood sugar levels.
  5. Balance with Other Meals: Incorporate keto pho into a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods to meet your nutritional needs.


In conclusion, pho can be keto-friendly when prepared with ingredients and mindful of portion sizes. By making simple swaps and adjustments, individuals following a ketogenic diet can enjoy the flavors and benefits of this beloved Vietnamese dish without compromising their dietary goals. With its nutrient-rich broth, lean protein, and low-carb noodle options, keto pho offers a satisfying and health-conscious alternative for those seeking to maintain ketosis while enjoying a delicious and comforting meal.


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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:

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