You granny was right after all. The soup is one of the best foods you can get. Let’s face it, soup is delicious, healthy, it makes you feel full, and can help you when having a cold. Soups are high in nutrients and low in fat and calories what makes them a great meal addition. They are the perfect food for weight loss as well.
Anyway, these days with so many varieties and packing types of soups, it is quite hard to distinguish the healthy soups form the once that are not (so) healthy. Although canned soups claim that they are the healthiest, they contain ingredients that make them unhealthy for one or more reasons. If you want to eat clean, have fitness goals or if you are on a weight loss plan, it is important for you to avoid the unhealthy varieties and only choose those which offer health benefits. Let’s take a look at healthy and unhealthy soups so you know which ones to avoid.
Homemade Soup (Healthy Choice)
A pot of homemade soup is a great alternative to a full dinner. It may take some time for you to make your own soup at home, but you must keep in mind that it gives you control over the ingredients you add and the method of cooking you choose. When compared to canned soup, homemade soup is healthier and cheaper too and if you cook a large batch, you can easily freeze them to be eaten later. When you cook soup at home, you can make them healthier by adding more fiber and skipping the salt.
Fiber is important for weight loss and digestion and fresh beans and veggies are high in fiber. When making soup at home, you must choose unprocessed whole foods for the most minerals and vitamins. You can add herbs of your choice for flavor, vitamins and antioxidants. Adding broth instead of cream cuts out fat content from the soup and makes it healthier. To make the soup creamy, you can add pureed veggies such as beets and squash. Plain yogurt and evaporated milk are also good alternatives for cream.
Canned Soups (Not so healthy)
Depending on the soup you pick up from the supermarket shelves, the nutrient value of it varies. Some canned soups are high in fiber and vitamins, but the rest are plain unhealthy that can make you fat and put you at risk of certain diseases and illnesses. Canned soups are unhealthy for many reasons. While they are easy and convenient, processing removes a large portion of the nutrients, water soluble vitamins and fiber. Some other reasons which make canned soup unhealthy include the following:
Sodium content – if you are on a diet, trying to lose weight or are simply looking to eat healthy to stay fit, you know that you have to lower your sodium intake. In canned soups, sodium is added by the manufacturers to enhance flavor and to act as a preservative. Sodium is an important mineral that helps maintain the right fluid balance in the body, but it is important to keep the intake of sodium to the recommended level only. Eating too much salt can cause your body to retain excess fluid. This means that your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney failure can increase. Healthy soups should contain under 600mg of sodium, but most canned soups contained more than 800g per serving.
Fat – cream soups are high in fat. In fact one serving of cream soup contains approximately 7g of saturated fat. The worst thing about this kind of fat is that it raises bad cholesterol in the body and increases risk of certain heart related diseases. It also makes you fat.
BPA – Bisphenol A is a chemical that is contained in the liners of most cans. A number of studies have found that BPA leaks (dissolves) into the food from the cans and increases the risk of many diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart problems and reproductive abnormalities. Test of some varieties of canned soups and foods revealed that they contain BPA which not only makes the soup unhealthy, but toxic as well.
Alkaline vs Acid Soups
Another approach to distinguish among healthy and unhealthy soups is to find out if they are alkaline or acid. The alkaline diet proponents claim that alkaline foods are healthy and acid foods are dangerous and unhealth. In general the vegetable based soups should be alkaline and therefore healthy and soups that have meets are acid and unhealthy.
So to conclude, homemade soups are healthier when compared to canned soups. You have the freedom to choose your own vegetables and limit the amount of creams and salts used to enhance the flavor of the soup.