Once the cool weather of Fall hits, all I want is a nourishing warm bowl of soup. It can be so delicious and satisfying.
Craving a great bowl of soup?
Today we have more options than we can count when finding food products we want.
As we are starting to feel the chill in the air, and are wanting a delicious bowl of soup,
do we, or should we, turn to the grocery store shelves?
Can we find that easy allergy friendly soup we are craving?
Most soups can be made easily by throwing together lots of whole, nutritious veggies, beans, rice and stock or bone broth together. Trying to find this in your grocery store aisle is yet another matter. Basically, if we shop there we are returning to the processed foods that many of us are trying to turn away from in our everyday choices. Yes, there are a multitude of soups to choose. Start reading the labels though, and you will find that you will replace these items back on the shelf as quickly as you picked them. You will likely find too many fillers and toxins within the can or box. Not anything you really want to consume, correct? Soup is an easy way to bring health into your meal, although, these may not be your best option.
Tune up your skills for reading labels and start studying. You will quickly realize that even the organic, whole food, nutritious soups are still quite high in sodium, even with their light or low sodium options. Some of these healthier versions have from 480 grams up to 780 grams of salt per serving, with some containing up to 7 grams of sugar. Shocking! Remember too to check the servings per container. You may find a soup, and think there are a few servings per container, only to find that it is counted as one. Watch those numbers.
Once you start reading labels, you will realize you need to stay away from your conventional soup aisle. There you will find many options with the word, “healthy” right on the label. But sorry, I did not find much health within that aisle! I grew up with Campbell’s soup, and later switched to Progreso soups (which I thought at the time was healthier – wow – was I wrong). I cannot even think about how many casseroles I (or my friends) have made using creamed soups -ugh! Now that I understand what ingredients do to the body and how we are affected by our foods, these are not things that make it into my grocery basket. For example, Campbell’s has one product, Chicken Alphabet Soup, which states “Healthy Kids” highlighted right on the label. Upon reading the ingredients, this is not anything I would feed my children, and it certainly will not make them healthy. This contains modified food starch (which can really can be anything!), vegetable oils (which increase inflammation in the body), spices ( which ones?), MSG (causes havoc in many people), maltodextrin (corn, a GMO =creates havoc, inflammation, upset in the body), disodium guanylate and flavoring – do you know what either of these are?
Well . . . my point exactly.
Now . . . do you think this is a healthy choice for your children?
Would you serve this to your family?
I would not.
While we think that buying an organic, non-GMO soup will be best, that is not always the case either. I found one such company that added lots of oils, safflower, sunflower and canola all in one soup. All three of those oils can cause inflammation in the body. Another company had good, overall wholesome ingredients yet then added in xanthan gum and cornstarch- two things that are not so good for our gluten-free friends. One surprising fact, all had very high levels of salt, even the low salt options.
There are many gluten-free soup options to fit people living with food allergies. These also contained high levels of sodium. While we do need some sodium in our diets to keep our bodies healthy, eating 790mg sodium in one sitting is quite unhealthy for anyone – especially depending on the type of salt being used in the product.
According to John Douillard, “We need salt for optimal heart health, as well as the function of every organ system in the body”.* Within his article, “Confused About Salt?”, he went on to state that studies related that there was no real connection between high salt intake and high blood pressure. Although, the salt most people consume is white refined table salt – which is devoid of essential and trace minerals our bodies need. High intake of table salt can thus disturb the body’s mineral and electrolyte balance. Celtic Sea Salt as well as Himalayan Salt provide the body with multiple essential and trace minerals.* Therefore, always check which type of salt is being used in your food products.
To find a better solution, you could try some of your local favorite shops or restaurants where they make soups in their own kitchen. Talk to the manager or chef to find one that suits you. Make sure you ask about what they add to the soup (which you may surprise you). In the end, this could be an avenue for a healthier soup.
Overall, in a pinch you may be able to find a reasonable soup to enjoy. But, I wouldn’t make canned/boxed soups a staple in your diet.
What is really the best thing to do when craving a delicious bowl of soup?
Make your own!
Not so hard my friends! Gather your favorite veggies, rice, beans, broth. Put it together and you have a soup!
Come back to see one of our favorite soup recipes coming this week!