Cans, pouches and tubs of ready-made soup make for handy work lunches and no-fuss dinners, but some store-bought varieties can be eye-wateringly salty. Here’s what to consider.
Hold the salt
Eating too much salt (sodium) can spike your blood pressure, so it’s wise to keep your intake to a minimum. Aim to cap it at 2000mg per day (one teaspoon of salt or 5g) — the less sodium, the better for your heart health. While it’s true your body needs some sodium to function properly, you don’t need to add extra salt to a cooked meal. The sodium in the ingredients used to make the meal will more than cover your bases.
A packet of store-bought soup rarely contains just one serve — those small-ish cans, pouches and tubs are often labelled as containing two serves. So if you polish off the whole lot, you’ll consume twice the salt! To keep your sodium intake in check, consider sharing your meal with a mate or rounding it out with the following suggestions:
- Add microwaved, frozen vegies or a handful of fresh baby spinach while heating
- Stir through shredded cooked chicken or grated cheese
- Serve with a wholegrain roll.
All souped up
A healthy, balanced soup ticks all of the following boxes:
- Vegie-packed. Look for brands with at least 50 per cent vegies on the ingredients list
- Protein-rich. Look for peas, beans or chickpeas, as well as chicken or beef
- Good-quality carbs. Look for barley, pasta, rice or lentils.