Snack Girl has been asked multiple times about canned soup and I couldn't bring myself to research the topic. Why?
Well, I make this chicken noodle soup (see: Low Calorie Comfort Food - It Exists!) and I don't like canned soup. BUT, I understand that there is a need (college students without kitchens, people who hate to cook, etc.) to eat them.
I went out and spent some time in the soup aisle at my local supermarket. In fact, I was there for such a long time that the management called security :) Yeah, there are a ridiculous number of brands, flavors, prices.....aaaah!
What did I find out? The first thing that hit me over the head when looking for a low calorie soup was this:
See that cute bowl of Campbell's in the top photo? It states "60 CALORIES" on the front of the soup container - but there are 120 CALORIES in that bowl. The container looks like one serving but it is actually TWO.
This was true of all the soups that I looked at - there are 2 servings in a can of soup. Most of us would eat the entire can at once - it fills a standard size bowl - and what are you going to do with the leftovers?
Secondly, there is a serious issue of sodium amounts in these soups. On average your daily amount of sodium should be between 1500-2300 mg. If you ate the entire bowl of "Select Harvest Vegetable and Pasta" soup - you would consume 1300 mg of sodium or over 50% of your recommended daily amount.
This was also true of soups that said "low sodium" on the front of the can. They had between 400-500 mg of sodium PER SERVING - which means about 800-1000 mg for the can. (someone actually filed a lawsuit against Campbell's because of their bogus low sodium claims)
Finally, I tried the Campbell's Vegetable and Pasta and I subsequently poured it down the drain. I have one word for this soup - yuck.
I kept searching for something healthy (would I give up on you guys?). I visited the "Natural Foods" area of the store and scoured the shelves for a healthy soup - and I found one!
See the "Health Valley Organic" in the above photo? It has no salt added (really) and was packed with vegetables that actually tasted like vegetables. I ate the whole can after I added a wee bit of salt.
Here are the nutritional facts for the ENTIRE can:
200 calories, 5 g fat, 36 g carbohydrates, 6.0 g protein, 8 g fiber, 100 mg sodium, 5 Points+
I have to say that for a canned soup this was great! You could mix it with other higher sodium canned soups for a saltier (but not too salty) canned soup experience.
What about cost? The Campbell's Select Harvest set me back $2.65 and the Health Valley Organic was $2.99. I think that was 34 cents well spent.
Here are my tips for choosing a canned soup:
- Stay away from CREAM soups
- Watch the serving size on the package
- Avoid high sodium soups or just don't eat them very often
- Find one that you really like
How do you deal with the canned soup aisle?
Health Valley Organic No Salt Added Soup, Minestrone, 15 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Want to read about snacks?
Who Else Lost Their Virginity This Month?
Mix Up These Healthier Corn Muffins In A Jiffy
Five Restaurant Tips For People Who Love Food
What You Need To Know About 50% Less Sugar And Calories In Juices