When the weather gets colder, everyone wants soup – but not everyone has time to prepare it. If you lack culinary motivation, there are plenty of soup options in the grocery store aisles, from cans to Tetra Paks to frozen selections. But canned soup doesn’t have a good reputation, especially when it comes to sodium levels.
Getting a little closer to our sweaters and wondering if a hot lunch can be enjoyed, we checked in with nutritionists to see how they feel about the soup and what to look for when stocking up on them for the cold days ahead.
First, soup is clearly something food connoisseurs love. “A good soup makes everything perfect,” said registered dietitian Amanda Francini. She is not opposed to having packed items on hand.
“It’s definitely a time saver,” Francini said. “During tightly scheduled work days, when sickness strikes, or when autumn’s busy schedule takes over, sometimes I’m in the mood just to pull soup from my pantry.”
At a busy time of year, packaged soup can be a lifesaver. “A lot of people get distracted by work and end up missing meals,” a registered dietitian said. Vanessa Risetto. “Having soup on hand can help reduce the burden of preparation and can help stabilize blood sugar, if you time it right.”
Amy Guerin, a registered dietitian and holistic vegan dietitian, agreed with this view. “Soup is one of the easiest and best meals in a jiffy” She said. You get a well-balanced meal — including veggies, protein, and whole grains — all in one plate. And the soup is hydrating, too.”
Another feature: the soup is ““It’s very relaxing, especially during the colder months,” said the registered dietitian. Guerlain Jones. “Soups have the ability to include a variety of healthy ingredients in one meal, providing different nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and antioxidants,” she noted.
Registered Dietitian Chelsea AmerThe comforting qualities of the soup make all the difference, especially at this time of year. “It’s a comforting meal, with a lot of nutritional potential, so it’s a winter staple for me,” she said.
Scout for sodium
The American Heart Association encourages people to limit sodium to a maximum of 2,300 milligrams per day, Frankini noted. “There are tons of low-sodium soups on the market, and many of them taste great,” she added.
Jones said that packaged foods, including soup, make up most of many people’s sodium consumption. This could be a concern. “Diets high in sodium are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, a major cause of stroke and heart disease,” she said.
When you read the labels, as a general guide: 5% DV [Daily Value] or less sodium per serving is considered low, and 20% “DV or more of sodium per serving is considered high,” Jones explained. “Look for words like ‘no added salt’ and ‘low sodium.’ Your best bets are a delicious broth-based soup filled with colorful vegetables, whole grains, and beans.”
Packaged soups can be high in sodium, so look carefully. A registered dietitian said, “Many packaged soups are full of sodium — sometimes up to 1,000 milligrams per serving.” Sharon Palmer. “That could be nearly half of your sodium goal for the day. Also watch out for potentially less healthy ingredients, like bacon, cream, and cheese.”
Make sure it is full
“If your soup is going to be a meal, make sure it has plenty of protein and fiber,” Gorin said. “Tomato soup, while delicious, won’t weigh you down, so soups with beans or chicken are my favorite,” Risetto added.
“Fat is especially important if soup alone is your meal,” Amer said. “Fat is digested slowly, so it will keep you full for longer.”
Now that you’ve made the choice, feel free to customize your bowl. “If you need more flavor, add your ingredients, like a pinch of citrus juice or zest, vinegar, caramelized vegetables, herbs or a little tomato paste,” Francini said. “If you need to reduce the salty flavor of regular soup, add water or fresh or frozen vegetables to the mix.”
She also adds “dark greens like spinach to the soup for extra fiber, flavor, and fullness,” Rissetto said.
“Fun and satisfaction are the top priorities,” Francini said. “Give yourself permission to eat the foods you love, including soup. If health is your priority, you can still find something that satisfies your hunger and warms your bones.”
These are the brands that our experts recommended.
“These soups are my favorite brand,” Jones said. “They’re delicious, and there are options for everyone. I can buy vegan, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-, soy- or corn-free ones. I also like to support brands like Amy’s Kitchen because it’s a family owned business.” Committed to sourcing the freshest organic ingredients from local farmers.”
Well Campbell yes!
kettle and fire
kettle and fire
“This is one of my favorite brands of bone broth,” Amer said. “Bone broth has more protein than chicken or beef broth, so it’s great for snacking.”
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