Though many women assume that soups are generally rich in nutrients and low in calories and fat, it’s oftentimes surprisingly hard to find healthy soups. Many of the most famous and popular brands of soup that you’re likely to find on the market today are actually quite unhealthy for one reason or another.
Knowing how to avoid those unhealthy soups is the first step toward removing them from your diet or moderating them. As with all other unhealthy foods, enjoying some of these soups in moderation is perfectly healthy and fine. However, it’s important to keep track of which ones are healthy for you and which should be included in your diet as only a special treat, so that you can best avoid the unhealthy ingredients that they’re made up of.
1. Maruchan Top Ramen
The quintessential easy-to-make soup may not seem like it could have any unhealthy ingredients, given that it contains only broth and noodles. However, while this soup is low in fat, it contains a huge percentage of your daily sodium intake. Increased sodium levels can lead to blood pressure problems, cardiovascular disease and obesity, amongst many other health concerns. For this reason, and because this brand of soup offers little in the way of positive nutritional content, it’s best to avoid it except for rare occasions.
2. Progresso Soups
While not all Progresso soup is unhealthy, a good portion of them contain either a high level of sodium or dangerous trans fats. Trans and saturated fats raise your cholesterol and do not provide the same benefits as unsaturated fats that you’ll find in nuts and other food items. If you enjoy Progresso soups, avoid the “full flavor” varieties and instead opt for the lighter choices. Always check the nutrition label if you’re interested in learning about the contents of your soup.
3. Chowders and Bisques
Soups that are based on cream broths, like chowders, bisques and other types of seafood soup, are almost entirely unhealthy for you. The reason for this is that the base of the soup, the cream, is full of saturated and trans fats. It’s likely that most of these soups also contain high levels of sodium as well. Rather than cream based soups, opt instead for those with broths based on chicken stock, vegetable broth, tomato or other vegetables and meats.
4. Campbell’s Tomato Soup
Campbell’s tomato soup is healthy in some respects; it contains a good mixture of antioxidants and certain other helpful nutritional elements. However, it also is full of sodium, as are most of the other soups in Campbell’s line. When people add crackers to their tomato soup, it only increases the total level of sodium, without adding any additional nutritional content.
For the healthiest soup options, look to organic and natural soups or consider making your own soups with vegetables and light meats at home.