Did you know that January has been declared national soup month? Although the origin is unknown, it is a well-accepted fact—by both consumers and soup companies—that the month of January is a tribute to all things soup.
Before you indulge in this tribute, consider your options. Canned soups are notoriously full of sodium. One serving of canned soup, typically ½ cup, can have more than 1/3 of your recommended daily intake. Even the low sodium varieties (that boast “reduced sodium” in loud colors on the front of the labels) contain over ¼ of your recommended daily intake per serving. However, broth-based, vegetable-filled soup can be a healthy way to fill up if you’re watching what you eat. Research has shown that people who start a meal with soup consume 20% fewer calories at the meal than those who did not. Despite its potentially beneficial effects on cutting calories, when you want soup, canned soup may not be the best option.
Alas, not everyone has the time to make homemade soup, allowing the canned-soup market to prevail, regardless of its over-use of sodium and blatantly deceiving front-of-label claims. How can you enjoy the convenience of canned soup without succumbing to excessive salt intake? Doctor your canned soup: while heating your soup on the stove, add one cup of water for every cup of canned soup and some fresh or frozen vegetables to boost the fiber content and dilute the sodium. When picking which vegetable to add, use the ingredients on the back of the soup can label as a guide and choose your favorite. Though the sodium in the soup will still be there, your serving size will be diluted with water and flavored with the extra vegetables. If you want to know what’s in the finished product of your doctored soup, just use the recipe function on the Bon’App website. Click here to learn how to doctor your own soup!