Is Pho the Culprit Behind Your Bloating? Let’s Find Out

Pho is a popular Vietnamese dish that consists of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. It’s a healthy and delicious meal many people enjoy, but some wonder if it can cause bloating. In this article, we’ll explore does pho make you bloated and discuss ways to prevent it.

What is Pho?

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup that typically includes beef or chicken broth, rice noodles, fresh herbs such as basil and coriander, and thinly sliced meat. The dish often comes with bean sprouts, lime wedges, and chili peppers, which diners can add to customize the flavor.

Does Pho Make You Bloated?

How Does Pho Affect Your Digestion
How Does Pho Affect Your Digestion

Pho is a nutritious and flavorful meal that is generally easy on the digestive system. However, some people may experience bloating after eating it. This could be due to several factors, including the high sodium content of the broth, the presence of beansprouts, onions, or other fibrous vegetables, and the large portion sizes commonly served in Vietnamese restaurants.

Who Is More Likely To Experience Bloating After Eating Pho?

Who Is More Likely To Experience Bloating After Eating Pho
Who Is More Likely To Experience Bloating After Eating Pho

Individuals sensitive to high-sodium foods or fiber-rich vegetables are more susceptible to experiencing bloating after consuming pho. People with digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may experience more severe symptoms after eating pho.

Pros and Cons of Eating Pho

Like any food, Pho has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of eating Pho:


  • Pho is a low-fat and low-calorie meal high in protein and fiber, making it a healthy and filling option.
  • The dish contains nutrient-dense ingredients like fresh herbs and vegetables, which provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Pho is a flavorful and delicious meal that can be customized to your preferences, making it a popular choice among diners.


  • The high sodium content of the broth in Pho may cause bloating and water retention in some people.
  • The dish often contains beansprouts and onions, which can be difficult for people with digestive disorders to digest, leading to bloating and discomfort.
  • Some types of Pho contain fatty cuts of meat or meatballs, which can be high in calories and saturated fat.

Alternatives To Pho

Alternatives To Pho
Alternatives To Pho

If you’re looking for alternatives to Pho, here are some other Vietnamese dishes that are similar but less likely to cause bloating:

  • Bun Bo Hue: A spicy beef noodle soup similar to Pho but distinct from lemongrass and annatto seeds.
  • Banh Mi: A Vietnamese sandwich typically includes grilled meat or tofu, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs on a baguette.
  • Goi Cuon: Fresh spring rolls filled with shrimp, pork, tofu, rice noodles, and vegetables, served with peanut sauce.

Tips To Prevent Bloating From Eating Pho

Tips To Prevent Bloating From Eating Pho
Tips To Prevent Bloating From Eating Pho

If you love Pho but want to avoid bloating, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a broth that’s low in sodium, and avoid adding extra salt to the dish.
  • Ask for a smaller portion size or split the dish with a friend to avoid overeating.
  • Limit your intake of beansprouts and onions, which can be difficult to digest for some people.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after eating to help flush out excess sodium and prevent water retention.


So, does pho make you bloated? Pho is a healthy and delicious meal that many people enjoy, but it can cause bloating in some individuals. By choosing a low-sodium broth, avoiding fibrous vegetables, and limiting your portion size, you can still enjoy Pho without experiencing discomfort.


  1. Can Pho cause diarrhea?
    Pho can cause diarrhea in some people if they have a sensitivity to certain ingredients or consume too many fiber-rich vegetables.
  2. Is Pho high in calories?
    The calorie content of Pho varies depending on the type and amount of meat used, but it can be high in calories if fatty cuts of meat or meatballs are included.
  3. Is Pho healthy for weight loss?
    Pho can be a healthy meal option for weight loss if made with lean protein, fresh vegetables, and low-sodium broth.
  4. Can Pho help with a hangover?
    Pho is sometimes enjoyed as a hangover cure due to its hydrating broth and nutrient-dense ingredients.
  5. How do you pronounce Pho?
    Pho is pronounced “fuh.”
About Mai Tran

As Mai Tran, the author of the Bunker Vietnamese website specializing in Vietnamese food, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all my readers. Growing up in a Vietnamese household, I have always had a deep appreciation for the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Through my website, I aim to share my passion for cooking and my cultural heritage with the world. From traditional recipes passed down through generations to modern twists on classic dishes, my website is a celebration of the vibrant and delicious world of Vietnamese food. Join me on this culinary journey and discover the beauty and complexity of Vietnamese cuisine.

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