Hey Lifehacker, how healthy do you think those $4-5 Vietnamese pork rolls are? They're so cheap and delicious, I wonder if the salads counteract the white bread and salty meat enough to justify having them several times per week. Thanks, Roll Me Over
Vietnamese pork rolls, also known as Bánh mì, are typically loaded with shredded carrot, lettuce, cucumber and spring onions. However, the presence of salad doesn't automatically make a meal healthy for you — as we have noted in the past, a bowl of takeaway salad can actually contain more sugar and fatty oils than a takeaway burger! It all depends on the type of salad dressing and the quantity used.
Most eateries that sell Vietnamese pork rolls don't add any dressing to the salad at all, which means it should be perfectly healthy. Of course, that's before you add the cured meats, eggy mayonnaise, high-fat pate and carb-loaded bread into the equation.
According to www.fatsecret.com.au, a typical 40g Vietnamese pork roll contains 1255 kilojoules (roughly 300 calories) of energy, 92 milligrams of cholesterol and 18 grams of fat. This makes it a better choice than most deep-fried fast food options, but it's still not something you'd want to consume every single day.
You should therefore treat it as a slightly naughty indulgence in a healthy lifestyle rather than actual 'health food'.
There are also steps you can take to lessen the damage: most places will be happy to substitute a healthier option in place of the white bread and you should definitely request no mayonnaise — in addition to making the meal healthier for you, this will also lessen the odds of contracting salmonella poisoning - which Bánh mì are particularly notorious for.
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This story has been updated since its original publication.