Savory Soup: Healthy and Satisfying

By: Kristen Castillo

Soup is satisfying, convenient and easy to enjoy. Whether you’re eating it as an appetizer or a meal, know that not all soups are the same. Before you open the menu and place your order, make sure your soup choices are healthy.

Here are some soup-savvy tips:

  • Soup may help you lose or maintain your body weight. A recent study shows that compared to non-soup consumers, soup consumers had a lower body weight and lower waist circumference.
  • Avoid salty soups, and don’t add extra salt. While some soups are loaded with salt, low-sodium versions are better choices. Choose soups that rely on flavorful, healthy ingredients like garlic and cumin rather than an excess of salt.
  • Eating soup can slow you down, making you a more mindful eater. That slow eating may even make you eat less of the soup or other foods to follow, as it takes about 20 minutes to realize you’re getting full.
  • Soup is a good way to make sure you’re eating enough vegetables. Almost any vegetable can be added to soups, including broccoli, carrots and green beans. Boost your soup with other hearty additions, like kidney beans, chickpeas and tomato. These ingredients add lots of natural goodness to soup, and they’re full of fiber, too.
  • Order soups with whole grains. Think brown rice, barley and quinoa.
  • Broth-based soups are best. Creamy soups may be yummy once in a while, but broth-based soups are the healthy standard. Here’s why: they’re lower in calories and saturated fat than their creamy counterparts.

Eating soup at home?

  • Choose low-sodium soups, as canned soups are usually very salty.
  • Choose soups in a pouch when possible. That’s because many cans have BPA liners, which can leech into your food. BPA is linked to heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure.
  • Add some fresh veggies to your bowl, like carrots, snap peas, or peppers.

Looking for nutritious soups at local restaurants? Check out these selections, chosen by Healthy Dining dietitians:

Ma’s Tomato Vegetable Soup at Mother’s Market

Pasta e Fagioli Soup at Olive GardenChicken

Tortilla Soup (Bowl) at Outback

Soup: Big Chunk Chicken Noodle (1 cup) at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes