The Problem With Canned Soup

soup in canSome of us are experiencing a brutal winter with snow and bone-seeping cold that does not seem to be letting up. Soup is a great way to warm up; it can also be a nutritious meal. There is nothing quite like homemade soup, but many people prefer to settle for ready-made. The food industry has known this for decades, hence prepared soups are a billion-dollar industry.

There are several problems with prepared soups. The most obvious is that they simply don’t taste as good as home made. Of course, if you don’t know how to make your own soup, this is a non-issue.

Another problem is the use of lower quality ingredients than you would use at home, for example meat scraps that would never be sold in a supermarket. Additionally, some of the ingredients used would never be found in your home kitchen. Here is an example ingredient list, for Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup:

Chicken Stock, Cooked Enriched Egg Noodles with Added Calcium (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate (In excess of standard), Eggs, Egg Whites, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Cooked Chicken Meat, Contains Less than 2% of: Salt, Cooked Mechanically Separated Chicken, Vegetable Oil, Potato Starch, Chicken Fat, Monosodium Glutamate, Onion Powder, Yeast Extract, Modified Food Starch, Spice Extract, Beta Carotene, Soy Protein Isolate, Sodium Phosphates, Chicken Flavor (Contains Chicken Stock, Chicken Powder, Chicken Fat), Dehydrated Garlic.

Lastly, one of the biggest problems with prepared soups is their extremely high sodium content. America has a long standing love affair with salt, and consumes almost twice as much as the 2300 milligram daily limit. Excessive salt intake contributes to hypertension and heart disease. A single serving of the chicken soup above has 890mg of sodium, 39% of the maximum recommended daily intake Like all liquids, people often consume more than one serving at a time, exacerbating the sodium issue.

Bottom Line

If you love soup, consider preparing your own soup at home. You will know exactly what ingredients go in, and will be able to control just how much salt is added.

Supermarket tips

If you do decide to buy prepared soups, keep in mind the following:

  • The serving size should make sense (one cup). Often manufactures suggest a tiny serving to make it seem like the calories and sodium content are low.
  • Read the ingredient list to make sure you aren’t getting more than you bargained for, for example MSG.
  • Last but not least, choose soup with less than 600mg of sodium per serving, ideally less than 450mg

Here is a healthy and yummy soup to make at home…

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup
1 large head cauliflower
Few dashes garam masala (optional)  or try a few dashes of turmeric  (optional)
3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
6 cups organic vegetable broth
1 tsp. sea salt  (Use Himalayan pink salt or grey sea salt for best health benefit)
2 handfuls of washed kale (shredded) OR diced Kohlrabi   (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Wash and cut cauliflower, then sprinkle lightly with garam masala or turmeric.

Place cauliflower onto parchment covered baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Roast about 20-30 minutes. In large stockpot, bring sweet potato, onion, garlic, salt and broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Add in cooked cauliflower and kale (optional).  Simmer about 20 minutes.
This recipe is a great way to boost your antioxidants with winter vegetables and upgrade your nutrition by controlling your ingredients since you’re preparing it at home from scratch!  Plus it’s quick and easy.
Bonus fact:  Did you know that sweet potatoes are high in magnesium which is the anti-stress and relaxation mineral!
Beth - NutritionBeth Mincher, CHHC
Certified Holistic Health Coach @ Body Edge Fitness
Member of AADP, American Association of Drugless Practitioners
Beth Mincher Health Coaching ~ Elemental Wellness