6 Best & Worst Canned Soups, Backed by Dietitians’ Insights

Canned or shelf-stable soups, available in jars or boxes, offer convenience but vary widely in nutritional value. While several brands have introduced healthier product lines and reduced sodium content over the past decade, not all options align with a balanced diet. When choosing a healthy canned soup, several key factors warrant consideration.

These include examining the serving size to ensure accurate portioning, assessing the calorie count for nutritional balance, monitoring saturated fat levels, and particularly, scrutinizing sodium content. Prioritizing these aspects helps in making informed choices towards healthier canned soup options for a more wholesome diet.

  • Serving size:¬†Understanding the serving size for canned soups is crucial, as it can vary significantly between a single can and a measured cup. This discrepancy prompts consumers to compare the actual volume they’re consuming against the labeled serving size. By doing so, individuals can accurately gauge the amount of soup they’re consuming and make informed decisions regarding their nutritional intake. Being attentive to serving sizes helps in managing portion control and aligning dietary choices with personal health goals.
  • Calories: Calories in canned soups typically vary from 100 to 250. Checking what those calories offer is key. Optimal soups provide whole grains, protein, and veggies, making those calories worthwhile. However, soups high in creamy saturated fats or fatty meats might not be the best choice for a balanced diet.
  • Saturated fat: Creamier soups often contain high saturated fats linked to heart disease risk. Limit these soups to occasional indulgences rather than regular menu items for a healthier choice.
  • Sodium: While many food companies have reduced sodium levels, some canned soups still contain excessive amounts, surpassing healthy limits.

1. True Primal Chicken & Vegetable Soup

PER 1 POUCH (454 G): 240 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 880 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (5 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 24 g protein

6 Best & Worst Canned Soups, Backed by Dietitians' Insights

This soup, contained in a pouch, boasts a substantial 24 grams of protein, emphasizing quality ingredients such as chicken, assorted vegetables, and beef gelatin. The inclusion of beef gelatin not only enhances richness but also serves as a notable source of the amino acid glycine, further enriching its nutritional profile.

2. Pacific Foods Organic Spicy Black Bean and Kale Soup

PER 1 CUP: 150 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 550 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (6 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 7 g protein

6 Best & Worst Canned Soups, Backed by Dietitians' Insights

This plant-based soup, which is made solely of beans and kale, is tasty and straightforward, with a hint of heat from the chili powder. With a whopping 21 percent of the daily required fiber intake, this soup is exceptionally nutritious. Additionally, its salt concentration is noticeably moderate in comparison to other kinds. This soup is a filling and healthy accompaniment to any meal, whether it is served as a cozy appetizer before a meal or combined with a salad or sandwich.

3. Lotus Foods Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen

PER ¬Ĺ PIECE (35 G): 120 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

6 Best & Worst Canned Soups, Backed by Dietitians' Insights

According to Chef, numerous ramen soups tend to be high in sodium and rich in refined carbs. However, Lotus Foods offers a distinctive ramen variation boasting 4 grams of fiber and an impressive 9 grams of protein. Notably, this flavorful soup stands out as dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly, making it a versatile choice suitable for various dietary preferences and restrictions. Its nutritional profile aligns well with different diets, providing a wholesome and delicious option for those seeking a healthier ramen alternative.

4. Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup, Light in Sodium

PER 1 CAN (411 G): 300 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 450 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (7 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 12 g protein

6 Best & Worst Canned Soups, Backed by Dietitians' Insights

According to a nutrition expert, Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup stands out as a healthy choice due to its organic composition, low sodium content, and high protein and fiber levels. With 12 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, this soup offers a satisfying and nutritious meal option. Pairing it with vegetables or an extra protein source enhances its nutritional value, making it a filling choice for a wholesome meal.

¬†5. Rao’s Vegetable Minestrone Soup

PER 1 JAR (454 G): 100 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 670 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 3 g protein

6 Best & Worst Canned Soups, Backed by Dietitians' Insights

Crafted from Italian peeled tomatoes, assorted vegetables, and enriched pasta, this comforting soup offers a healthier choice, boasting a mere 100 calories, providing 11% of the daily recommended fiber, and being free from saturated fat. Rao’s soups come in shelf-stable jars, ensuring extended pantry storage without compromising quality. This option offers both nutritional value and convenience, making it an appealing addition to your pantry for a satisfying and wholesome meal option.

6. Campbell’s Well Yes! Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup

PER 1 CUP: 90 calories, 1 g fat 0( g saturated fat), 640 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 7 g protein

6 Best & Worst Canned Soups, Backed by Dietitians' Insights


Well Yes! soups pride themselves on thoughtfully chosen ingredients, featuring antibiotic-free chicken meat and excluding artificial colors, flavors, or modified starches. Specifically, the Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup comprises chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, pasta, corn, red peppers, and roasted garlic. Each 1-cup serving offers a reasonable calorie count, 7 grams of protein, and is devoid of saturated fat.

This flavorful option not only serves as a delicious appetizer before a meal but also pairs excellently with a salad or sandwich, offering a tasty means to increase vegetable intake and complement your dining experience.

Conclusion:

Navigating the aisles of canned soups can be a daunting task, but armed with insights from dietitians, making informed choices becomes easier. Opting for soups with lower sodium, minimal additives, and higher nutritional content ensures a healthier, satisfying meal. From wholesome organic options to nutrient-dense vegan choices, the market offers a variety of canned soups catering to diverse tastes and dietary needs.

FAQs:

1. Are all low-sodium canned soups healthier options?

While lower sodium content is preferable, it’s essential to check for overall nutritional value. Some low-sodium soups might compensate with higher sugar or fat content.

2. Can I rely solely on canned soups for a balanced diet?

Canned soups can be a convenient part of a balanced diet, but incorporating fresh ingredients like vegetables and lean proteins is important for a well-rounded meal plan.

3. How can I reduce the sodium content in canned soups?

You can dilute canned soups with low-sodium broth or water, or opt for brands offering ‘reduced sodium’ or ‘no added salt’ versions.

4. Are homemade soups always better than canned options?

Homemade soups offer more control over ingredients, but some canned soups with quality ingredients and minimal additives can be nutritious alternatives.

5. Are there specific certifications or labels to look for when buying healthier canned soups?

Labels like ‘organic,’ ‘low-sodium,’ ‘no added preservatives,’ and ‘no artificial flavors/colors’ can guide you toward healthier canned soup choices, but always read the ingredients list for confirmation.

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