Getting takeout from a Chinese restaurant doesn't mean that your meal has to be high in fat and calories. The most nutritious options are those that contain a variety of vegetables and aren't dipped in batter or fried. Among the appetizers at most Chinese restaurants, egg drop soup is one of the healthier choices.
A cup of egg drop soup contains 65 calories, 2.8 grams of protein, 10.3 grams of carbohydrates and only 1.5 grams of fat. Although egg drop soup isn't a particularly good source of most vitamins or minerals, it does contain 15.7 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 26 percent of the daily value. Your body needs this vitamin to make collagen, repair tissues and heal wounds. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which helps limit cell damage from by-products of metabolism called free radicals.
Low Energy Density
Broth-based soups like egg drop soup are low in energy density, which means that they don't contain many calories per gram owing to their high water content. Eating foods that are low in energy density at the beginning of your meal will help you consume fewer calories overall at that meal. Filling up on low-energy-density foods can be a good way to maintain a healthy weight.
Although otherwise not particularly unhealthy, egg drop soup from a restaurant is likely to be very high in sodium. Each cup of egg drop soup contains 892 milligrams of sodium, which is about 39 percent of the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams for healthy individuals. Regularly consuming too much sodium can raise your blood pressure, increasing your risk for heart disease. Limit other high-sodium foods on the days you eat egg drop soup.
Healthy Egg Drop Soup
For a healthier version of egg drop soup, make it yourself and limit the amount of sodium by using low-sodium chicken broth and adding no additional salt during cooking. Add vegetables such as scallions, corn and bean sprouts to the soup to increase the fiber and micronutrient content. To make a meal of egg drop soup, add some shrimp or tofu for protein.
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Soup, Egg Drop, Chinese Restaurant
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sodium: The Facts
- Help Guide: Healthy Fast Food
- MayoClinic.com: Energy Density and Weight Loss: Feel Full on Fewer Calories
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.