Does drinking iced tea while eating pho bo cause harm?

January 1, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
Many believe that consuming pho bo (rice noodles with beef) and iced tea at the same time could lead to fat clumping, causing cancer. Is this true? (Tu, 30, Hanoi)


The information mentioned has no scientific basis and is inaccurate.

Animal fats, when exposed to cold temperatures, may clump or solidify, which is a normal biochemical reaction. However, iced tea is not cold enough to cause fat in pho bo to clump or solidify.

Moreover, when these foods enter the stomach, our body temperature breaks down and liquefies the fat molecules before they are digested. Therefore, the claim that eating pho bo and drinking iced tea at the same time causes fat clumping, inflammation, or cancer, is not scientifically supported.

Bowls of beef pho served at a restaurant in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Huynh Nhi

Bowls of beef pho served at a restaurant in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Huynh Nhi

However, it is advised not to drink overly concentrated tea with pho bo. Tea is rich in tannin, which inhibits iron absorption, and beef is high in iron. Hence, it is better to limit tea consumption or choose other beverages when eating this dish.

It is recommended to choose pho with clear broth to reduce fat intake. Eating fat-rich foods increases the risk of cholesterol and lipid disorders.

In order to have a healthy digestive system, it is advised to balance between four essential nutrient groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and minerals.

Dr. Nguyen Gia Thuan

Hanoi University of Science and Technology’s Institute of Biotechnology and Food Technology

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