vietnam travel covid 19 updates

Stay updated with the latest news of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and information for traveling to Vietnam. Read more here.

Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

A Guide to Eating Healthy in Vietnam

eating-healthy-in-vietnam-fruits

Vietnam has been well-known for its excellent cuisine. There are so many traditional dishes in Vietnam attracting people from all over the world such as Pho, spring rolls, mixed salad (gỏi), etc. In addition to the taste of food, cuisine in Vietnam also benefits your health thanks to many factors such as the fresh ingredients, the balance of nutrition and vegetarian habit.

Healthy Ingredients in Vietnamese Cuisine

Vegetables

This is an extremely important ingredient that always appears in every Vietnamese meal. People usually have the main dishes combined with at least one kind of vegetables, either eaten fresh or in forms of soup, stir-fried, etc. Sometimes vegetables are also the main dish in the meal since vegetables are cheaper than meat like pork, beef, and chicken. And when eating more vegetables, we can increase the fiber intake for our body.

If you are eating in a street vendor, ask them to dip the vegetables in boiled water to get rid of as much of contaminant as possible.

eating healthy in vietnam herbs

Eating wraps and rolls in a part of eating healthy in Vietnam

Herbs

Herbs in Vietnam are the types of vegetables that are often eaten raw or added to dishes to enhance flavors or balance the taste. Some typical and popular types of Vietnamese herbs are lettuce, coriander, knotgrass, perilla leaf, cilantro, mint, Thai basil, lemongrass, dill, sorrel, etc. Adding herbs in meals is an easy way of eating healthy in Vietnam because these herbs are sometimes considered as natural medicines for our health.

eating healthy in vietnam 2

Herbs in Vietnam

Fish

Beside many kinds of meat, fish is also used for cooking main dishes in Vietnamese meals. Fish is much more nutritious than meat with a lot of Omega 3, vitamin and healthy protein. The fish protein is notorious for preventing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. In Vietnam, people usually divide fish into 2 kinds: freshwater fish and saltwater fish. Some popular types of fish in Vietnam are catfish, yellowtail catfish, anabas, eel, goby, carp, snakehead, codfish, scad, tuna, etc.

eating healthy in vietnam 3

Fresh fish brought in from daily morning catches

Vegetable oil

Instead of animal fat, the Vietnamese nowadays usually use vegetable oil in cooking because it makes the food taste better and increases nutrition. Vegetable oils have a low erucic acid level, which helps control cholesterol at a stable level. These oils also contain healthy fatty acids such as omega 6 and omega 3, which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, vegetable oil is a very rich source of vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Most vegetable oils in Vietnam are made from soybeans, sunflower seeds, or coconut. Olive oil in Vietnam, however, is slightly more expensive because of the import taxes. 

eating healthy in vietnam 4

Sunflower, olive, soybean oils are popular in Vietnam

Coconut

Fresh coconut is known as a specialty of the coastal areas in Vietnam, especially in Ben Tre Province. Coconut water has almost all the nutrients which are necessary for the body, many B vitamins, and minerals. The amount of potassium and magnesium in coconut water is similar to human cell fluids, so it is often used for patients with diarrhea, even for infusion. In particular, coconut water helps remove harmful substances and bacteria to help the body healthy from the inside and outside. This is also the first benefit of drinking coconut water that you will receive.

In Vietnamese cooking, people often use coconut water to increase the natural sweetness of the dishes, instead of adding a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners.

eating healthy in vietnam 5

Coconut is very good for our health

To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!

Nutrition Balance in Vietnamese Family Meals

Vietnamese cuisine focuses on a balanced combination of flavors and ingredients (vegetables, meat, fish, etc.); to create a good appetite on an adequate and balanced nutrition basis. Vietnamese cuisine uses plenty of natural ingredients such as onions, garlic, pepper, mushrooms, and different kinds of herbs and vegetables to diversify the list of dishes.

eating healthy in vietnam 6A Vietnamese family meal

Eating healthy in Vietnam also includes the habit of having many kinds of fruit such as banana, jackfruit, papaya, guava, grapefruit, orange, mandarin, etc. after the main meal as a dessert to provide plenty of vitamins for the body. 

Vietnamese Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarianism has always a norm in Vietnamese cuisine, especially for those aiming for a healthy diet. Especially, on the 1st or 15th every lunar month and the first few days of Tet Holiday, the Vietnamese would prefer vegetarian dishes to wish for good luck. That is to say, it is not a major problem when traveling or living in Vietnam if you practice vegetarianism strictly

Several ingredients that are often used in the vegetarian diet are many kinds of mushrooms, vegetables, tofu, grains, beans.

eating healthy in vietnam 7 vegan 5

Vietnamese vegetarian food

Vegetarian food in Vietnam is much cheaper than anywhere in the world, thanks to its flourishing agriculture industry, and most famous and traditional Vietnamese dishes have a variation for vegetarians. There's no need to worry about missing out the chances to try iconic Vietnamese food.

Some tasty dishes for vegetarians in Vietnam

  • Lemongrass Tofu
  • Vietnamese Mung Bean Dumplings (Banh it tran)
  • Pickled Carrot and Daikon
  • Green Papaya Salad
  • Vietnamese Sticky Rice
  • Vegan Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Check out Vegetarian Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City.

Healthy Vietnamese Dishes

Pho

Traveling to Vietnam without enjoying a bowl of Pho may be your biggest miss. Pho is a kind of beef noodle soup served with many vegetables and herbs. This is a traditional breakfast of every Vietnamese which can provide sufficient energy to start a new day.

eating healthy in vietnam 8 pho 1

Vietnamese Pho

Spring Rolls

The Spring Roll (or Gỏi Cuốn in Vietnamese) is a combination of shrimp, pork, vermicelli, onion, bean sprouts and mint leaves rolled in the rice paper. When enjoying it, we often dip it into peanut sauce to enhance the taste of this dish. Spring Roll is a fresh dish that provides you with all the nutrients the body needs like protein, fiber, vitamin, etc.

eating healthy in vietnam goi cuon

Spring Rolls and sauce

Fresh fruits

Vietnam is a country of tropical fruits. Vietnamese usually having fresh fruits instead of canned fruits. You can easily find many kinds of fruits such as avocado, mango, papaya, orange, etc. anywhere in Vietnam. Fresh fruits or fruit smoothies provide several types of Vitamins for our bodies. Make sure you peel or soak the fruits in salt water before eating - it's the Vietnamese way to get rid of the excessive pesticide on the fruits.

eating healthy in vietnam 10 fruits and vegs

Fresh fruits at the local market

Bitter melon soup

This is delicious and fresh. Bitter melon soup is so simple but it has many positive effects on our health. The ground meat is stuffed in the middle of bitter melon and cooked in 25-30 minutes.

eating healthy in vietnam 11

Bitter melon soup

Simmered pettitoes soup

This is also a healthy dish that is especially good for pregnant women. The pig’s foot (pettitoes) is cooked in a long time with some ingredients like pumpkin, peanut, green papaya or lotus seeds.

eating healthy in vietnam 12

Simmered pettitoes soup and green papaya

Chicken simmered with Chinese herbs

Chicken simmered with Chinese herbs (or Chinese herbal chicken soup) is a nourishing dish that can be used as a remedy. It can help recover our health during times of sickness. Chinese herbs used in this dish include dried Chinese yam, wolfberries, dried red dates, and some kinds of roots. These (dried herbs) are not easy to come by in a normal market; usually cooks need to go to a Chinese medicine store and buy the ingredients, which are not cheap. That’s why this dish is cooked for only the very special ones on very special occasions.

eating healthy in vietnam black chicken

 Black chicken simmered with Chinese herbs

Some other healthy dishes and drinks which are also popular in Vietnam are green tea, ginseng water, etc.

Sign up for a travel insurance to travel in Vietnam safely:

 

Summary of Eating Healthy in Vietnam

As we can see, eating healthy in Vietnam is not difficult. Every dish is designed to provide us with a balance of nutrients, and most of them contain a low level of calories. Enjoying Vietnamese food which is both delicious and healthy is one of your best experiences in Vietnam.

Related articles:

Find out more about Vietnamese cuisine with us!

60
 

Comments

Guest - Eleanor Valley on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 21:09

Foods in Vietnam are mainly healthy, as long as you can find a clean street vendors

Foods in Vietnam are mainly healthy, as long as you can find a clean street vendors
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.itourvn.com/

 

About itourvn.com

This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Private Ho Chi Minh Tours

private ho chi minh tours

All tours are private, customizable, and led by professional English-speaking guides. For more reference, read our customer reviews or see below for the tour package in Ho Chi Minh that works for you.

Half-day City Tour

Night Tour

Food Tour

Saigon's Other Side

Shore Excursions

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Adaptors

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Responsible Travel in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Holiday Dishes to Try during Tet Holiday

Chinese Dishes in Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Northern Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Central Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Southern Vietnam

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What to Eat in Hanoi

What to Eat in Hue

What to Eat in Hoi An

What to Eat in Da Lat

What to Eat in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing your Motorbikes on Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

How to Travel from Hanoi to Da Nang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Hue

How to Travel from Hanoi to Sa Pa

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

How to Travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island

How to Travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

How to Travel from Hue to Phong Nha

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Where to Stay in Moc Chau

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

Where to Stay in Lang Son

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Mu Cang Chai

Where to Stay in Kon Tum

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:

 

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guides

First Time in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City Districts

Local Activities in Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi Travel Guides

First Time in Hanoi

Hanoi Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink in Hanoi

Shopping in Hanoi

Hanoi Districts

Local Activities in Hanoi

North Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Ninh Binh

First Time in Ha Giang

First Time in Ha Long Bay

First Time in Sa Pa

First Time at Yen Tu Mountain

First Time in Moc Chau

First Time in Mai Chau

First Time in Hai Phong

First Time in Cao Bang

First Time in Lang Son

First Time at Bai Tu Long Bay

Central Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Hue

First Time in Hoi An

First Time in Da Nang

First Time in Nha Trang

First Time in Da Lat

First Time in Mui Ne

First Time in Buon Ma Thuot

First Time in Kon Tum

First Time in Phu Yen

South Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in the Mekong Delta

First Time at Con Dao Island

First Time in Vung Tau

First Time at Phu Quoc Island

First Time in Ca Mau

First Time in Can Tho

Powered by 12Go Asia system