Health Nutrition
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There’s a chill in the air and ice on the ground, which means that you probably want something warm in your belly. Unfortunately, “warm” often translates to “fatty,” “salty” or “low-nutritional value.” Sometimes, that’s just what your situation calls for (hey, who are we to tell you after a long day shoveling snow that you can’t indulge in something deliciously fattening?) but other times, you want something warm without the added calories, fat and sodium.

Staring down the soup aisle can be an intimidating experience when you’re looking for something fast, tasty and healthy. What are you even looking for in a soup? We didn’t know either, and that’s why we consulted registered dietitian Shauna Lindzon.

Shauna says that to get the biggest bang for your nutritional buck, a soup should have more than 5 grams of fibre, 8 grams of protein and no more than 500 milligrams of salt and 1 gram total saturated fat per 1 cup serving. Shauna advises making soup half of your meal and pairing one cup with a protein and fibre-rich sandwich or salad to take more control over your meal.

Don’t forget to read the ingredients list of any soup you select. Shauna warns against anything that contains monosodium glutamate (MSG) because it ups the sodium content and is difficult for many people to digest. A fresh soup (typically sold in jars) will usually offer the simplest ingredients, highest fibre and protein content and the least sodium.

A quick note on protein: soups that are heavy on the veggies or noodles tend to be light on the protein. Shauna suggests adding your own protein in the form of beans, legumes, cheese or a glass of milk. Don’t be afraid to add to your soup – it’s a great way to bump up the flavour and nutritional value.

So how do those classic canned (and powdered) soups stack up? Take a look.

And remember: at the end of the day, making your own soup is usually muuuch healthier.