Egg drop soup calories and carbohydrates are low, which makes the dish good for people watching their weight. While the chicken broth and eggs are nutritious, this soup has the drawback of being high in sodium. However, you can reduce the saltiness by making the dish at home.
To make the soup, season chicken broth with Asian flavors, and then bring it to a boil. Most recipes call for a small amount of vegetables like green onions and mushrooms. Thicken the broth with a little cornstarch. To add the raw egg, whisk it with a fork and then drizzle it over the boiling broth.
Egg drop soup is healthy. However, it may provide a high sodium load from the soy sauce used to flavor the broth.
Egg Drop Soup Nutrition
Vanessa Phillips, NNCP, a nutritional therapy practitioner with JM Nutrition, shares information on egg drop soup with LIVESTRONG.com: "The dish is a light meal with nutritious constituents," she says. "Chicken broth, when made from scratch, contains an array of minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium. Eggs contain protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can all help the body fight disease."
"One downside of egg drop soup is its high sodium content from soy sauce, with around 900 milligrams per cup. That is more than half of the recommended daily allowance. As is commonly known, high intake of sodium is linked to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and kidney disease," Phillips adds.
The best way to include egg drop soup in your diet is to make it at home, so you can control the amount of sodium it has. She suggests using a soy sauce substitute called coconut aminos. "Per cup, it contains only around 450 milligrams sodium, while regular soy sauce has around 1,400 milligrams. Low-sodium soy sauce, on the other hand, is only slightly lower in sodium than original soy sauce, with 1,000 milligrams of sodium per cup."
Read more: 3 Low-Sodium Soup Brands to Try
Carbohydrates and Calories
The only carbohydrates in egg drop soup come from a small amount of vegetables. "Traditionally, there are no additional carbs added to the dish, so it's suitable for low-carb diets," Phillips notes.
Egg drop soup calories aren't a concern either, she states. "One cup of soup generally has only around 70 calories. Although it's light in calories, it's a satisfying and filling meal because it contains eggs, which are high in fat and protein." The Asian flavors make it tasty, so it's a way of getting a low-calorie meal without feeling deprived.
How does egg drop soup compare with wonton soup? "The former has fewer calories and is significantly lower in carbs than the latter," explains Phillips. "Wontons, which are dumplings, increase the carbohydrate and caloric components of the dish. Each steamed pork dumpling can add around 20 to 60 calories per serving. Without the dumplings, wonton broth on its own has a calorie and carbohydrate breakdown similar to egg drop soup."
Choose Healthy Chinese Food
What's the healthiest Chinese food to order in a restaurant? Instead of choosing menu items that are deep fried and battered, such as egg rolls, select those that are roasted, grilled, broiled, steamed or stir-fried, recommends Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension). Examples include moo goo gai pan and Hunan chicken.
To order healthy dishes, it helps to be familiar with a few common Chinese terms. Jum means poached, kao means roasted and zheng means steamed, says MSU Extension.
Chinese food sauces are high in sodium and MSG. Request that the sauce be served on the side, or ask if the restaurant offers a low-sodium version of the dish you like.
Other tips for getting healthier Chinese food include choosing meals with more vegetables, and ordering plain rice rather than fried rice, suggests the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. Chicken and fish dishes are better options than those made with beef, pork or duck. Since portion sizes are often large, plan to share an entree with your dinner companion.