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  • Packaged Soups: Which Ones To Buy & Not To Buy

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    If you’re like us, the cold weather has got you feeling pretty chilly, thus making you crave a nice big bowl of hot soup to warm you right back up! Soup can make for a great healthy meal as long as it’s packed with whole grains and veggies and not too much salt, sugar or preservatives. After coming in from shoveling snow, you might not have time to make a batch of homemade healthy soup and instead decide on opting for a store-bought soup to satisfy your cravings. This can be a good choice as long as you follow our simple soup guideline on which soup products you should buy and which ones you should avoid. Additionally, all of the information for each soup mentioned is taken directly from our Food Facts app!

    Stay Away From Soups High In Sodium & Sugar 

    There are a lot of soups on the market that are very high in sodium or sugar, or both. Two classic examples are Progresso Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup (food score: F) which contains a whopping 950 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving and Campbell’s Tomato Soup (food score: D) which contains 12 grams of sugar per half cup serving. To note, most canned soups contain 2 servings per container which is good to know because if you happen to eat the entire can of soup, you would be doubling both of those sodium and sugar counts!

    Stay Away From Soups With Tons Of Controversial Ingredients

    The more you look at packaged soups, the more you’ll probably notice how many of them are loaded with not just sodium and sugar, but controversial ingredients as well! Wegman’s Italian Style Wedding Soup With Meatballs & Chicken (food score: F) is a prime example. Not only is this soup a sodium-bomb, containing 1020 mg of sodium per 1 cup serving, it also contains a plethora of preservatives and other controversial ingredients. This includes calcium propionate (preservative), sodium stearoyl lactylate (food additive), monosodium glutamate (flavor enhancer), natural flavors, corn syrup, sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oils. These kinds of ingredients are not only harmful for you to consume, they also aren’t keeping your body full and nourished.

    Choose Soups That Are Loaded With Veggies

    One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re eating enough vegetables at mealtime is choosing a soup that’s full of them! A perfect pick would be a soup like Pacific Organic Vegetable Quinoa Soup (food score: B), which contains onions, tomatoes, zucchini, red bell pepper, carrots and celery. Another good option would be Amy’s Organic Lentil Soup (food score: B+) which contains plenty of vegetables like celery, carrots, onions and potatoes. The more vegetables you have in your soup, the more essential vitamins you gain in your diet.

    Choose Soups That Are High In Fiber & Protein

    If you’re going to eat soup as a meal, it’s wise to pick one that has enough fiber and protein so that it will fuel your body and keep you satisfied. Try to choose soups that contain hearty legumes like lentils or whole grains like barley or quinoa. For example, Dr. McDougall’s Organic French Lentil Lower Sodium Soup (food score: A-) contains 9 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. Another good choice is Trader Joe’s Organic Split Pea Soup (food score: B-) which contains 7 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein per 1 cup serving. Both of these soups also have less than 700 grams of sodium and 5 grams of sugar. Additionally, even though you might be a lover of creamy soups, you should also try to stick to soups that have a vegetable or chicken broth base to keep it lighter and let the lentils and or split peas be the star of the bowl!