Betrayed: Delicious pho noodles stab me in the back

So the neurowaist has gained an inch in the last month, after a self-proscribed regimen of heavy eating and drinking. (Did I mention the heavy drinking? Egads does that stuff pack it on.)

I try to keep a pretty good handle on my weight, which includes counting calories. I’ve looked up the nutritional values for Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Subway, and other restaurants I eat at. But today I was inspired to look up the info for one of my favorite tasty, inexpensive meals: a delicious steaming hot bowl of vietnamese pho noodles. (Too lazy to make proper O character for correct spelling, sue me.)

I always figured pho was kinda healthy - all that broth, with not too much meat, and noodles are never bad for you, right? Of course, I should have know that pho tastes waaay too good to be healthy. Pho lovers, this is your last chance not to proceed.


The stuff is a heart attack in a bowl! Yeaergh! 1300 calories, almost 160% of the recommended maximum daily cholesterol value, and nearly 100% of the suggested maximum sodium value. How can it have so many calories? C’mon, you eat this stuff and you’re hungry again in an hour!

I guess I’ll have to move pho from the category of “reasonable meal” to “tasty vice.” Sigh.

Oops, forgot Daily Recommended Value Table

It might not be that bad as you think. As far as I can tell, the nutrition computers on those recipe sites are pretty simple minded. They just take the nurtitional information for all the ingredients and total it up.

I don’t think that took into account that the 5 pounds if beef knuckle and 2 pounds of oxtail were removed from the stock after cooking!

By contrast, this recipe, which just calls for beef stock, sez “206 calories, 5 grams
fat, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 749 milligrams sodium.”

And that’s assuming that you really only have one serving. Serving sizes can be pretty tricky- what I (and probably most Americans) am used to thinking of as a serving is really 2 or 3 times what the package calls a serving.

 I always thought that hose Arby's Market Fresh sandwiches looked pretty healthy, and I would get those if I was forced to get fast food.  I don't eat red meat or pork, so that limits my choices in fast food.  Then I went to the Chowbaby site and found out that a Market Fresh sandwich has over 700 calories!  I'm better off, caloriewise, eating Chicken McNuggets!

Put this in the timely thread file. I was contemplating asking about the nutritional value of Pho in GQ. I eat it as an alternative to fast food, and you are right it just seems healthy. I feel good after eating pho and just can’t bring myself to believe that I would be better off with McDonalds or Subway for lunch.

Pho is the only food that I could eat every day of my life. I would suffer if I had to go through withdrawal.

I’m with Podkayne - the nutrition info on that site is full of shit. Notice:

The bolded portions highlight just where all the calories in this recipe are thrown out.

What you’re left with is beef stock, plain noodes, lean beef, and vegetables. You ain’t gonna get fat eating this stuff.

Man, I had a McDonald’s Chicken McNugge jones like a month ago and decided to get some. I ate 26 nuggets (a 20 piece + a 6 piece). According to, my total intake for my feast was about 1092 calories. Still beats your noodles!!! Oh, but I guess the fact that I dipped each and every one in ranch dressing might put me ahead as far as calories go.
Anyone else hungry?

Hmm, y’all are probaly right - upon further reflection, there’s no way in hell a large bowl of pho could really have 1300 calories, could there? Thishealth recipe for pho lists a serving at about 300 calories, and several other sites list much lower calorie estimates. That 1300 must be way off.

fruitbat, if you wanna nail this down better, you’re welcome to fire off that GQ.

No one makes pho with chicken, but the beef version is pretty healthy, methinks.

Very nice title, neuroman. Now I must resist the temptation to determine the calories in my bowl of bun.

Actually, there is pho made with chicken, but it’s rather tricky to make, so not many restaurants offer it. The only recipe I have is in Vietnamese so I can’t tell you. (And the fact that I can’t tell a teaspoon from a tablespoon doesn’t help either :slight_smile: )

The only thing I look out for when ordering pho is to avoid places that use excessive SMG in it. It’s the forbidden additive in my GF’s book.